R 112105Z FEB 20
MSGID/GENADMIN/CMC WASHINGTON DC MRA MP//
SUBJ/2020 NATIONAL IRISH AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH//
REF/A/PUBLIC LAW 101-418/12OCT1990/IRISH AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH//
REF/B/IRISH AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH/IRISHAMERICANHERITAGEMONTH.COM//
REF/C/LIBRARY OF CONGRESS/NEWSPAPER ARCHIVES/WORLD WAR HISTORY//
REF/D/INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY/LEADERS AND SUCCESS/04NOV2017/’FIGHTINGEST MARINE’ DANIEL DALY WON HIGHEST HONORS, COINED LEGENDARY PHRASE//
POC/T. M. VELAZQUEZ/CIV/UNIT: MRA (MPE)/TEL: COM (703)784-9371/TEL: DSN (278)/EMAIL: THERESA.VELAZQUEZ@USMC.MIL//
GENTEXT/REMARKS/1. Since proclaimed by Public Law 101-418 in 1990, March is observed as “National Irish American Heritage Month.” During this month, we take the opportunity to honor all Irish Americans and to acknowledge their ongoing contributions to the success and development of our Nation. This is the first time the Marine Corps will observe Irish American Heritage Month. The 2020 observance theme for the Marine Corps is: “The Line of Ireland Marches Forward.”
2. From its beginning, Irish Americans have conspicuously contributed to the progress and life of our Nation. In the Revolutionary War alone, there were over twenty generals of Irish descent leading the Continental Army, and General George Washington heavily relied upon The Pennsylvania Line, which was favorably known as “The Line of Ireland” for its large population of Irish-descended soldiers. Additionally, there were at least six men of Irish ancestry who signed the Declaration of Independence. To this day, Irish Americans prominently serve our Nation in all aspects of American culture, industry, and particularly the military services.
3. Sergeant Major Daniel “Dan” Joseph Daly (c. 1873-1937) was lauded by MajGen John A. Lejeune, Commandant of the Marine Corps, as “the outstanding Marine of all time.” Nevertheless, outside of his celebrated military service spanning thirty years there is little known about SgtMaj Daly. Born to an Irish-American family in Glen Cove, Long Island, New York, Daly might have been born in 1870 vice 1873 according to census records, and at 5 foot 6 inches tall and 132 pounds, his physique was comparatively small. Although observed as a “quiet-mannered, modest, and unobtrusive” man, the young Daly was a respected amateur boxer. He was also a newsboy who competed against other newsboys for the best street corners for selling newspapers. In 1899, Daly was motivated to join the Marine Corps for the Spanish American War. The war was over before Daly completed recruit training; however, it would not be long before he would encounter his share of battle from the Boxer Rebellion through the First World War. After WWI, Daly was on the retainer list of the Fleet Marine Corps Reserve, and he was permanently retired from military service in 1929. SgtMaj Daly pursued a private life working a low-profile bank guard job on Wall Street in New York City for seventeen years. He died in 1937 having never married. SgtMaj Daly is buried at Cypress Hills National Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York.
4. SgtMaj Daly shares the rare distinction of receiving the Medal of Honor twice. While a Private, Daly achieved the first Medal of Honor in August 1900 during the Boxer Rebellion, Peking (now Beijing), China (1899-1901) with the 1st Regiment (Marines). Standing alone through a hellish night while his captain went to gather reinforcements, Private Daly fiercely defended the Tartar Wall (a 45-foot-high brick wall situated south of the American Legation) armed only with his bolt action M1895E rifle with fixed bayonet. He held firm atop the wall defeating over 200 Chinese Boxers and enduring a harassment of sniper fire. Years later, Gunnery Sergeant Daly earned a second Medal of Honor for his actions during the U.S. Invasion and Occupation of Haiti (1915) alongside Smedley D. Butler, William P. Upshur, Edward A. Ostermann, Ross L. Iams, and Samuel (Marguilies) Gross. During October 1915, the 15th Company (Mounted), 2d Marine Regiment, went on a six-day reconnaissance. The Company was crossing a river ravine when they were ambushed on three sides by enemy Caco rebels, and their horse carrying a heavy machine gun was killed. Gunnery Sergeant Daly retrieved the machine gun by defying heavy fire and engaging in knife fighting against seven Cacos. He strapped the machine gun to his own back and returned it to his men. During WWI (1914-1918) at the Battle of Belleau Wood, France during June 1918, while assigned to the 73rd Machine Gun Company, 6th Regiment (Marines), First Sergeant Daly was credited with saying, “Come on, you sons of bitches, do you want to live forever?” in an effort to motivate the troops to continue the fight. Daly’s repeated and fearless deeds of heroism at Belleau Wood merited him a third nomination for the Medal of Honor, which resulted in him receiving the Navy Cross. Beyond his effective aggression on the war front, SgtMaj Daly was well respected throughout his career by both enlisted Marines and officers for his servat-leadership style.
5. SgtMaj Daniel Daly lends his name to a Fletcher-class destroyer, the USS Daly (DD-519). Sponsored by SgtMaj Daly’s niece, Mrs. A. Ransweiler, the USS Daly was launched on 24 October 1942 and first commissioned on 10 March 1943. Similar to her namesake, the USS Daly traveled the globe during her career, and she received nine battle stars: eight for WWII and one for the Korean War. The USS Daly was decommissioned on 2 May 1960 at Norfolk, Virginia and struck from Naval Register on 1 December 1974.
6. To learn more about the Marine Corps’ Irish American heritage, Medal of Honor recipients, and U.S. military history, visit the Library of the Marine Corps (grc-usmcu.libguides.com/library-of-the-marine-corps) or select a book from the Commandant’s Professional Reading list (grc-usmcu.libguides.com/usmc-reading-list). To learn more about Marine Corps heroes, read, “Proud to be a Marine: Stories of Strength and Courage from the Few and the Proud,” (2017) by C. Brian Kelly and Ingrid Smyer.
7. During this observance month, commanders are encouraged to recognize and celebrate the invaluable service and selfless contributions Irish Americans - military, veteran, and civilian - give to our country and Corps. Commanders are further encouraged to conduct programs and promote participation in observance events within their commands and across their local communities.
8. Release authorized by BGen D. L. Shipley, Division Director, Manpower Plans and Policy.//