From the article entitled, "Bagpipers honor Irish who fought for Mexico"
By Chris Hawley, USA TODAY
"MEXICO CITY — Every month, a wail of bagpipes reverberates through a plaza in downtown Mexico City, causing startled passersby to stop and stare.
Then, from behind the bullet-scarred walls of an old fortress, a platoon of Mexican bagpipers emerges through the gates — paying tribute to an obscure but divisive chapter of history involving Mexico, Ireland and the United States.
The ceremony honors the St. Patrick Battalion, a group of 600 Irish-American soldiers who switched sides to fight for Mexico in the 1846-1848 Mexican-American War.
On St. Patrick's Day, many Mexicans will raise a glass to commemorate the "Irish martyrs" who are regarded as heroes in a war that still arouses passions here.
"It's a little bit of a weird twist on history … and quite romantic for the Irish community," said Myles Doherty, the Irish consul in Mexico City.
[Pictured above: brutal branding of Irish soldier / male sado-masochism depicted as a reality of war in One Man's Hero (1999) starring Tom Berenger, Don Wycherley, Ilia Volokh, Wolf Muser, Luke Hayden, and Gredd Fitzgerald]
The battalion's story begins with Ireland's Potato Famine of the 1840s, which forced thousands of Irish to emigrate to the USA and other countries."
Read the entire article here:
You might be asking, with such a bizarre story, had anyone made a film, yet?
The article tells us:
"The San Patricios were seen much differently in the USA, even by fellow Irish immigrants, said Ian McGowan, archivist at the Institute for Irish-American Studies at the City University of New York.
"For a good 40 or 50 years, they were almost completely forgotten about," McGowan said. "The unofficial position of Irish who were looking to become Americans in the 19th century was not to discuss them."
"Recently, Americans have begun to pay more attention to the battalion. Several books have been written in the past decade and the 1999 movie One Man's Hero was about Riley."
Plot summary for One Man's Hero (1999):
"One Man's Hero" tells the little-known story of the "St. Patrick's Brigade" or "San Patricios," a group of Irish immigrants who deserted to Mexico after encountering religious and ethnic prejudice in the U.S. Army during the Mexican-American War.
The plot centers around the personal story of John Riley, an Irishman who had been a seargent in the American Army who leads the brigade, as he leads his men in battle and struggles with authorities on both sides of the border.
One Man's Hero, directed by Lance Hool was nominated for the 2000 'Outstanding Director of a Feature Film' ALMA Award (American Latino Media Arts Awards).
En Espanol: Héroes sin patria (1999)
Click here to go directly to my personal blog page called Welsh-American Family Genealogy, on the World Wide Web.
Click here to go directly to my personal blog page called Welsh Music, Film, and Books Symposium, on the World Wide Web.
Click here to go directly to my personal blog page called Celtic Cult Cinema on the World Wide Web.
© 2008 Dr. Mark Leslie Woods
Click here to go directly to my personal blog page called Queer Advantage, on the World Wide Web.
Click here to go directly to my personal blog page called Mordechai Razing Ziggurats, on the World Wide Web.
Click here to go directly to my personal blog page called Mordechai's Post-Evangelical-Granola on the World Wide Web.© 2008 Dr. Mark Leslie Woods