The 9th Massachusetts Volunteers were off-the-boat Irish who fought in the American Civil War. They refused to be ruled by the British in their new home and readily took up arms to defend their rights to their own religion, language, and ethnic heritage. Like emigrants before and since, the Irish of Massachusetts gave concrete meaning to the motto in the Great Seal of the United States, “Out of Many, One.” I always walk by this at work in the State House with beaming pride. #ErinGoBragh (at Massachusetts State House)

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