The Official Opening Ceremony of the Mayo Peace Park,
Garden of Remembrance.
Tuesday the 7th of October 2008.
The official opening ceremony of the Mayo Peace Park, Garden of Remembrance was one of the most significant & emotional events ever held in County Mayo.
It was a memorable event that rolled back the pages of history and finally recognised the heroic contribution of a generation of Mayo born men and women who served and died in the world wars, the sad neglect of their heroic contribution was finally consigned to the past.
On that historic day the people of County Mayo remembered all their war dead in a quite remarkable manner, so many tears of joy and tears of sadness were shed by the relatives of the fallen, they represented many generations of people who had been forced to suffer the loss of their loved ones in silence for far to long, Irish history had not been kind to their memory of their loved ones, nor in any way understanding about their contribution & sacrifice for world peace in their time.
Many of those in attendance, had travelled thousands of miles to attend the ceremony; they came from as far away as America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, France, Belgium as well as from all parts of Great Britain and Ireland.
The programme of events, started on Sunday the 5th of October 2008 with a ceremony & Mass to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Irish Defence Forces participation with United Nations peacekeeping operations around the world.
This was followed by the magnificent Mayo Peace Park Remembrance Concert, in the newly opened Royal Theatre. On the morning of the opening ceremony their was a colourful regimental parade through the ancient streets of Castlebar all of which set the tone for a wonderful opening ceremony and the Gala Commemoration Banquet Dinner in Breaffy House later that evening
It was really fitting that the President of Ireland Mary McAleese was the person who actually performed the official opening of the memorial, as during her time as President of Ireland she had worked tirelessly to promote a better understanding of the contribution and sacrifice of all who died in the world wars and too establish a more equitable and friendly relationship with our nearest neighbours Great Britain.
This was a very proud day for all the people of County Mayo, it was the day they remembered their fallen heroes.
In known and unknown graves they rest
The young the old the bravest and the best
They too loved what life could give
And yet they died that we may live
Twice in a half a hundred years,
The price was paid in blood and tears
Let not memory’s lamp burn low
As generations come and go
Sing out their Glorious Requiem
Remember Them, Remember Them