When I was young I only remember going to a few Boston Parades here and there. The thing I enjoyed most was all the different people and colors that I saw. I’m almost certain that I wasn’t always aware of the purpose or message that was being given if there was one. The most important thing that was obvious was that everyone enjoyed themselves in some ways. I always thought that parades were meant for all people. I know the definition of parade is “a public procession, especially one celebrating a day or event and including marching bands and floats.” Its synonyms are procession, march, cavalcade, motorcade, spectacle, display,pageant. No where in its definition do you find words of exclusion of any person or group. As for St. Patrick’s Day itself, while it is said to be “a cultural and religious holiday celebrated on 17 March which is named after Saint Patrick (c. AD 385–461), the most commonly recognised of the patron saints of Ireland.” We know that not only people in the Catholic faith celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. A great deal of interracial marriages have occurred over the years. Therefore resulting in a number of various religions celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. This also means that some of those celebrating the day may not be heterosexuals. You don’t see those celebrating Gay Pride day saying that only gay people can take part in their parade. A parade should be in place allowing all interested parties to take part and attend as long as they don’t mean harm to those taking part in the celebration.
It is a shame that who gets to take part in this year’s St. Patrick’s Day parade is even up for debate, especially when the debate comes from a school or house of faith. We all have our beliefs and are committed to them and no one should or can take that away from us. However, there are several times and occasions where we should all be able to put aside our feelings and if so needed, our beliefs, so that we ALL have the opportunity to celebrate holiday’s whether by a parade, march, breakfast, dance, day of observation, etc. We essentially all came from the same place, and should deserve the same rights. We were all created equal. This can not be used or said when it is convenient, it has to apply at all times otherwise we are all hypocrites.
If you have pride in who and what you are and what you believe in stand up for that, but not in a way that takes away from someone elses pride or beliefs. We can all be happy and celebrate together. For more information on how Boston will be celebrating click here.