Thursday March 17, 1944
Rain couldn’t dampen spirits today as some 50,000 people marched down 5th ave for the St Patrick’s Day parade. Leading the parade was Capt. Stephen J. Meany, SJ army chaplain. General Sir Harold Alexander, proud of his Irish descent, celebrated St. Patrick’s Day, too, on the battlefront at Cassino. “Where there’s fighting, there’s Irish,” intoned Ed Herlihy in the voiceover. But for all the celebration, there are serious concerns about the decision of Eire, the country, to remain neutral in this fight. Allies are pressing the country to expel German and Japanese observers who are well placed to report convoy positions to U-Boats and to spy on Allied activities. Allies are also pressing Finland to expel German occupiers. As the noose tightens around Germany, such pressures take on added weight.