“WHENEVER A PEOPLE OR AN INSTITUTION FORGETS ITS HARD BEGINNINGS IT IS BEGINNING TO DECAY”
Carl Sandburg 1963
This was the first thing I read as I got to visit the Congress Building today. If the men from Duffy’s Cut were penning it themselves would they write it any different. If they had a voice today would it say anything more than do not let our sacrifice be in vain.
We had the great privilege of meeting with the staff of Congressman Rahall and Congressman Neal. And as we sat in Congressman Neal’s office looking at pictures of both Ireland and America and our history forever linked I listened to two of the hero’s of Duffy’s Cut tell their story. I listened to the two Watson’s proudly recount their last 10 years, I watched them tell the history of the men from Duffy’s Cut, I was amazed again as they passed around the pipes of Ireland and I was grateful that these were the hands that the file of Duffy’s Cut had fallen into.
And as we talked of the way forward, as we figured out the next steps ahead it will forever sit in my memory the shear delight of two brothers who have toiled so hard and so long to find the men of Duffy’s Cut and who have toiled so hard to have their story heard were finally having their story heard.
Leaving DC today I know we will find these men and even more so I know these men will not lie still till they are found. 180 years on they are continuing to make us remember our hard beginnings, 180 years on they are still uniting us in the hope of a better future, 180 years on they are telling us do not let our sacrifice be in vain.
Thank you to all who treated us so kindly today, thank you to all who cared to listen today and we will find these men with your help. Lets get the word out. Lets get the petition all over the world, lets tell these men’s stories as stories of hope.