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Where’s the recognition?

Alex Penler | Thursday, April 14, 2011

As I read The Observer on April 12 I looked for some sort of article about the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. 150 years ago the Battle of Fort Sumter occurred. The confederates attacked the union fort and both sides called for war. The North fought for Union while the South fought to protect their constitutional rights and their home. The North tends to ignore that the war ever occurred while some of the South tries to hold on to their past.

Here at Notre Dame, though, there’s a different meaning behind the civil war. The “Fighting Irish” is inherited from the Irish immigrant soldiers who fought with the Union’s Irish Brigade. This was a group of soldiers, including Notre Dame students who were from New York, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. They fought in the Peninsula Campaign, the Seven Days Battles, the Battles of Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Petersburg and at Appomattox Court House. They were at all the major battles of the Civil War. Notre Dame’s third president, Fr. William Corby, was a famous Irish Brigade Champlain and his statue sits outside Corby Hall. He is as well the only statue at Gettysburg of a non-general solider.

With all this history influencing Notre Dame, it’s sad that there was no recognition of an important day in American history. While no one wants to remember the terrible past of slavery or the most deadly war in American history, it’s still an important part of past.

Alex Penler


McCandless Hall

Apr. 12