The Ancient Order of Hibernians wish to express their gratitude to Senator Charles Schumer and Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer for their announcement that the Navy’s newest Destroyer, DDG-127, shall be christened the U.S.S Gallagher in fitting commemoration of the bravery and sacrifice that Corporal Patrick Gallagher, USMC, displayed during the Vietnam War.
Cpl. Gallagher, an immigrant from County Mayo, Ireland was awarded the Navy Cross in recognition of his selfless bravery and would later be killed in that conflict just days before he was scheduled to return home. Cpl. Gallagher is symbolic of the 21 other immigrants whose names are inscribed on the Vietnam war memorial who though born in Ireland made the ultimate sacrifice for America; in naming a destroyer for Cpl. Gallagher Senator Schumer and Secretary Spencer have worthily honored them all. We note that the U.S.S. Gallagher will join her sister ships the U.S.S. Barry, named for Wexford immigrant Commodore John Barry who holds commission No. 1 in the United States Navy, and the U.S.S Michael Murphy, named for a descendent of Irish immigrants who was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously in our Nation’s latest conflict. In every war, in every conflict, Irish American men and women have been stalwart in defense of the America that has offered them so much.
We again thank Senator Schumer and Secretary Spencer for rightfully commemorating Cpl. Gallagher in naming a destroyer after him, a ship that like Cpl. Gallagher which will willingly go into harm’s way to protect the nation we call home. The Hibernians ask its members and all Americans on this St. Patrick’s Day to remember Cpl. Gallagher and all the Irish men and women who wear the green not only on March 17th, but on their graves every day in defense of America.