The president, who is gearing up to entertain a posse of Irish political leaders at the White House next week, singled out four outstanding Irish Americans for the annual White House proclamation of Irish American Heritage Month.
The first two of them were a combination of Lone Star, thistle and three leaf.
Bush plumped for Davy Crockett and Sam Houston, heroes of the Texan struggle for independence from Mexico.
“The names of Irish Americans who have helped make America great
are familiar,” said the president in his signed proclamation. “Davy Crockett and Sam Houston helped settle the West,” Bush said in the proclamation which, appropriately, was released by the White House press office from the president’s Crawford ranch.
Crockett and Houston both hail from the largely Protestant Scots-Irish branch of the Irish American family tree.
For his second named duet of Irish American role models, the president turned east and Catholic.
“As archbishop, John Cardinal O’Connor served the people of New York with conviction and compassion,” he said. “President John Kennedy led America with steadfast determination during a time of great challenge.”
“During Irish-American Heritage Month, we recognize these proud citizens and important contributions to America,” the president, who will have a chance to laud Irish America on Irish soil when he visits Ireland in June, said.
Meanwhile, the White House this week formally announced next week’s meeting between the president and taoiseach Bertie Ahern at the White House.
“On the eve of St. Patrick’s Day, they will mark the enormous contributions to America made by the Irish people,” the White House said in a statement. “The two leaders will review ongoing ties, including the strong interest of the United States in supporting the Northern Ireland peace process.”