"I stand on the shoulders of sacrifices," Joe Biden discusses his Irish ancestors' journey to America 2 months ago

"I stand on the shoulders of sacrifices," Joe Biden discusses his Irish ancestors' journey to America

"Here I stand on the shoulders of sacrifices of my great-great-grandfather, my great-grandfather - just all that they did."

Referencing his Irish ancestors' journey to America, US President Joe Biden said he stands "on the shoulders" of their sacrifices.

Advertisement

The President was speaking during a ceremony welcoming 21 newly sworn-in citizens to the United States.

Biden, who has Irish links in Mayo and Louth, reflected on his own family's history during his address.

He said: "At least two-thirds of them got on a coffin ship in the Irish Sea back in 1849, having no idea whether they'd make it across the Atlantic to the United States... but certain if they did, they could do better and they did.

"They did better and they eventually built a life and raised a family in Scranton, Pennsylvania over generations.

"Here I stand on the shoulders of sacrifices of my great-great-grandfather, my great-grandfather - just all that they did.

"Because they believed. They believed like you believe - anything's possible."

Earlier in the year, during an interview with The New York Times, Biden discussed how his Irish heritage helped inform his worldview, particularly the importance of human dignity.

Advertisement

He said: “I think the Irish most often use the world ‘dignity’ of any other group of people.

“I think it’s because when you’ve been deprived of dignity you put a high, high premium on it.”

He said that in the white American communities in the middle of the last century that "to be Irish was to be second class" and that "the English owned the town.”