I Believe in Heritage

Lauren - La Grange, Illinois
Entered on September 7, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: family
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Heritage is something that stays with you forever. Your heritage is who you are. It’s your history, your story. I believe in heritage. Both my Mom’s and Dad’s side of the family are 100% Irish, and very proud of it. My Grandma Keane always jokes around and tells stories about “The Irish.” She tells me things her mother would say about Ireland, and now she’s passing these stories down to my cousins and I, something we can all share with our kids and generations to come.

As a tradition, on St. Patrick’s Day my mom makes corn beef and vegetables and we listen to Irish music. We all sit around the table laughing, celebrating our Irish heritage. Although we do this on St. Patrick’s Day, we also celebrate our heritage in little ways too. It doesn’t matter what time of the year.

My Grandma and Grandpa Keane have a house on the Jersey shore, and we go every summer. This summer all my cousins and I went and we all stayed in houses next to each other. A particular night that I remember was right before dinner, my Uncle Peter and my dad were cooking burgers, and steaks, and ribs for our family, and our moms were preparing the table. We had all come in from a long day on the beach, and walking up and down the boardwalk. We were all dancing in the kitchen to Van Morrison and The Chieftains, “I’ll tell Me Ma.” Everyone was laughing, singing and just having a great time. This was a way of celebrating our heritage. My cousin, Caitlin, and I each had friends over that night too. They may have thought we were completely insane, but we didn’t care at all. At one point during our festivities my cousin’s friend who was obviously fitting in and having a blast , and is a tiny percent Irish, looked at my cousin and said “Wow, I’m lucky to be here!” My Grandma overheard her and said “Alissa, if you’re lucky enough to be Irish, you’re lucky enough.”

This is a quote that I will always remember, and I believe in. No matter what heritage you are, you should be proud, celebrate, and believe in it.