Battle of the Somme Centenary Commemorated in New York

Consul General of Ireland in New York Barbara Jones commemorates the 100th anniversary of the first day of the Battle of the Somme in New York. Photo by James Higgins.
Consul General of Ireland in New York Barbara Jones commemorates the 100th anniversary of the first day of the Battle of the Somme in New York. Photo by James Higgins.

By Patricia Harty, Editor-in-Chief
July 1, 2016

The 100th anniversary of the first day of the Battle of the Somme, the bloodiest battle on the Western Front of WWI, is commemorated in New York. 

The Irish Consulate in New York held a commemoration on the Plaza of 345 Park Avenue on this morning, Friday July 1, in remembrance of the first day of the Battle of the Somme which began 100 years ago today.  Consul General Barbara Jones laid a wreath underneath the Irish Tricolor and spoke movingly of the more than 3,5000 soldiers from the island of Ireland who died during the course of the battle, and the thousands more who were wounded or “disappeared.”

The Irish poet Paul Muldoon read The Dead Kings by Francis Ledwidge; Lisa Dwan read The War Graves by Michael Longley. The ceremony concluded with a haunting Irish lament played by Heather Blixer on the fiddle.

Paul Muldoon reads during the 100th commemoration of the Battle of the Somme in New York. Photo by James Higgins.

Paul Muldoon reads during the 100th commemoration of the Battle of the Somme in New York. Photo by James Higgins.

The Battle of the Somme, also known as the Somme Offensive, lasted for over four months before ending November 18, 1916 and was the single largest battle of the Western Front in WWI. It was also the most costly, with more than one million soldiers killed or wounded in action, making it one of the deadliest battles in human history. ♦

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