"Memorial to Millions" Irish Memorial Tip by PR-7

Irish Memorial, Philadelphia: 5 reviews and 7 photos

  Irish Memorial --The People Starve
by PR-7
  • Irish Memorial --The People Starve - Philadelphia
      Irish Memorial --The People Starve
    by PR-7
  • The Emigrants Arrive - Philadelphia
      The Emigrants Arrive
    by PR-7

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.

Address: Corner of Front Street and Chestnut Street
Directions: On the Delaware River near Penn's Landing, south of Independence Mall
Website: http://www.irishmemorial.org/index.html

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Sep 21, 2011
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Comments (1)

  • starship's Profile Photo
    Oct 8, 2015 at 11:43 AM

    I've been living on the other side of the Delaware for 35 years now and never knew about this memorial. Since I visited Ireland this past spring, this memorial reminds me of the famine and the Irish people which I feel I learned quite a bit about. This memorial is very well done it seems.

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