In 1845 the population of Ireland was about eight million, and the population of the world was just about a billion. Today, the world population is about seven times larger than it was in 1845 -- and the population of Ireland is 25% SMALLER. What happened?
This memorial is a reminder of the WHAT. Specifically, "The Great Hunger," when about one-eighth of the Irish population died, and another one-eighth left (including my gr-gr-great-grandfather) in what became known as "Famine Ships."
If you can imagine one-eighth of a nation's entire population dying from hunger in the space of of about five years, or one-eighth of today's population of Mexico coming to America for a better life over that same short period; then you can imagine (1) the horror of the event and (2) the social and political dislocations (on BOTH sides of the Atlantic) resulting from this mass starvation and exodus. Since this is one of the largest population shifts in modern history, it is important to recall it.
The statue is close to the spot where thousands of Irish first set foot on American soil. It can be summarized as three vignettes: (1) the burying of another family member, (2) the journey on a ship, and (3) the arrival in the new land, with hope for a new life.
Irish Memorial located at Front & Chestnut Streets in Olde City represents the people who suffered the infamous famine in the 1800's in Ireland.... those who died and those who escaped it by making the journey to America. A must see for anyone of Irish descent.
Dog friendly. Just keep your pups on a leash.
This Memorial is dedicated to the millions of Irish immigrants who found freedom, and prosperity here in the United States.
"The memorial depicts the cruel starvation which claimed one million Irish lives between 1845 to 1850; the harrowing journey to America taken by a million more; and the indomitable spirit of those who arrived safely and resolved to face the challenges of life in a new world."
...from the Irish Memorial Web site
This is dedicated to all who died in the Irish famine in the mid-19th century. It's a beautiful, haunting structure. When walking around it, look in the faces of the people. Looks to me like a mixture of horror and hope.
The Memorial includes a history of the famine, and the circumstances behind it. Just to give you a little perspective on what happened there.
Kinda makes you think, doesn't it?
The Irish Memorial down at Penn's Landing was finished in 2003 and is dedicated to all the Irish who suffered and died between the years of 1845-1850 and to the immigrants who came to the United States.
Check out the website below for more details.