Irwin clan takes the lead in Harrisburg

Harrisburg had some trouble with its holiday parade this year, it was slated to be

Bill Irwin carries the Thompsom Rifles flag in the Harrisburg Holiday Parade

cancelled. That was in Oct. By Nov 7 the Ancient Order of Hibernians and the Saint Patrick Day Parade Association (both of which I am a member) were at the reins and the parade was on, to the delight of both spectators and business’s who stood to lose thousands of dollars in revenue if the parade was cancelled.

I am an officer with the Hibernians in the General William Thompson Division, and the education chair for the scholarship and education committee for the parade so when it was discovered that a color guard was needed for the start of the military division the call was answered.

As a member of the joint Vietnam Irish parade color guard, I opted to carry my Division’s flag, the colors of the First Pennsylvania Rifle Battalion, Thompson’s Rifles from our war of independence. Thompson himself was the first commissioned Colonel in the U.S. Army so it was a perfect fit.

Oh and did I mention that kilt wear was encourged?  So out came the Irwin tartan to proudly lead the way.

Along the way, during the staging period I had the privelage of meeting and speaking to one of the greatest presidents of the United States, Abraham Lincoln.

Lincoln took a side trip from Gettysburg


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