The Star Spangled Banner was raised in New Ross, Wexford, Ireland, for the country’s first official Independence Day festival in JFK‘s ancestral home yesterday. Kennedy visited the town in 1963.

JFK in New Ross, Ireland, 1963

The harbor in this town was once where heartbroken families bid farewell to loved ones who got the boat to America.

One of the most famous connections to the seaside town comes from the Kennedy clan, as Patrick Kennedy and Bridget Murphy, JFK‘s grandparents, emigrated from there to the USA.

And yesterday was a flashback in time as there were re-enactments of the Boston Tea Party aboard the famous Dunbrody Famine Ship.

The Dunbrody, a replica of the cargo ship built in 1845. It became a famine ship, and also and brought immigrants to the U.S.

The Declaration of Independence was read out at midday, while crowds cheered from the sidelines at Hook Lighthouse later for an American Football game.

JFK visited his ancestral home in June of 1963, and plans are underway for a 50th anniversary celebration next year.

President Kennedy stood on the streets of New Ross in front of thousands of well-wishers, leaving a profound impact on his ancestral home. He was greeted by a choir of 300 schoolboys where he joined them in the second chorus of ‘The Boys of Wexford’ — a ballad about the 1798 rebellion. He left his bodyguards and shook the hands of as many students as he could reach.

JFK Memorial in New Ross Harbor

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