The U.S. Army has a long association with St. Patrick’s Day and now is spreading the message of celebrating safely. St. Patrick’s Day is the Catholic feast day for Patrick, who brought Christianity to Ireland. In 1903, St. Patrick’s Day became a public holiday in Ireland. This religious holiday over the years has become known as a day where widespread alcohol intoxication occurs.
For the Army, its link to St. Patrick’s Day start with the largest celebration—the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York, where the Fighting 69th Infantry of the New York Army National Guard will once again lead the parade as it has since 1851. But another Army link is a more familiar story: in recent years March 17 car crashes have claimed the lives of three soldiers.
The Army is well aware of the destruction that happens from impaired driving on this holiday. They have promoted safe celebrating and the use of designated drivers. The Army wants you to know that if they get in a car with a drunk driver or decide to drive while impaired, you are risking not only your life but the lives of innocent people around you. In reaction to the deaths of soldiers in drunk driving crashes in 2009, Sgt. Maj. Tod Glidewell said “Driving while impaired or riding with someone who is impaired is not the right thing to do. Remember we are a Band of Brothers and Sisters, on and off the battlefield, and need to look after each other.”
How do you plan on celebrating St. Patrick’s sober? Share your comments with us below or on our Facebook page. Your good ideas may help a newbie learn how to celebrate without alcohol and drugs.