I wish I could be in Naperville on March 11 to watch the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. It’s hard to believe that the West Suburban Irish started this tradition 30 years ago. Each year, the St. Patrick’s party gets bigger and the weather never seems to dampen the Irish spirit.
I will always remember one year in a special way. My son and daughter-in-law liked to participate in the St. Paddy’s 5K before the parade. Most of the time they would run separately, but one year they chose to run together. I stood with their sons along the route to cheer them on. We met up after the race to watch the parade and it was a perfect family day.
The next day my son left to go spend 13 months in the Persian Gulf. At the time, he was a teacher at Naperville North, but he also was a member of the military reserves. And he had been activated. That was a long year for all of us.
The world seems to be in such turmoil as we get ready to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day 2023. My son is still in the military reserves. I do hope and pray that he will never be called back to a long-term active-duty assignment again. But if he is, I will remember that we met this challenge before and, if necessary, we will meet this challenge again.
I hope the sun shines and that there is a warm breeze on Sat., March 11, as everyone again joins the West Suburban Irish to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. And with a little luck of the Irish, maybe you can make it a wonderful family fun memory, too. A lot of work goes into coordinating all the events of the day.
Thank you to the West Suburban Irish for all its members—and for all you do to make the celebration possible. Sláinte!
Editor’s Note / West Suburban Irish again will host its Irish Mass in advance of its St. Patrick’s Parade. This year’s event to celebrate the good deeds of St. Patrick will take place beginning at 6:30PM on Mon., March 6, at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church, located at 1500 Brookdale Road. The beautiful and memorable 90-minute service will be in both Irish and English languages. For additional details and more about festivities that begin again this week and next, visit wsirish.org.