When the state announced Sen. Nick Collins recently held an annual St. Patrick's Day breakfast for the first time at Flynn Cruiseport on the seashore of South Boston, I was proud. Not only because it has a name, but because it is one of the most vibrant and historical landmarks in Boston, unless America.
It was the first port of entry in America for millions of hopeful immigrants from all over the world who wanted the opportunity for a better life. Many had no money, fleeing oppression, brutality and famine, migrating from countries such as Ireland, Poland and Lithuania. Some of the passenger vessels traveling to America were often referred to as “coffin ships” because many people were crossing the Atlantic Ocean. Many jobs in Boston and throughout the country have worked as workers, in woolen houses, helping to build the railway, coal mines, people at home, cleaning the women and dock workers, like a mother. and my mother's and grandparents' father. Their children and grandchildren would serve and protect our country at the time of war, after which they would be doctors, teachers, public safety officers, nurses and many positions. necessary in the United States.
As a little boy, I often walked down to this water spot with my mother to give my dad a sandwich and hot tea for lunch, as well as many other families. Not only did we see our dads working hard for long hours, but we learned that they worked under very dangerous and unhealthy conditions on the large cargo freight ships such as steel hard sheets, ammunition, meat, fruit and animal hides from South America, Australia and Africa. Many men were suffering from the unsafe working conditions on ships and docks. The workers would be exposed to diseases such as tuberculosis and hepatitis. Some long-standing men spent years in “hospitals for the wrong” or a TB sanctuary, including my own father. My mother's father from Galway, a united husband, lost his foot when a steel tone fell into the deep of the ship.
But my greatest memories about Ray Flynn Cruiseport, who is highly supported by Charlie Go Baker and Speaker Robert DeLeo, supported him by watching the large ships coming in from Europe, with men and military caskets wounded with the remains of other men told us, and we saw families crying, priests blessed the troops and the bands playing. It was hard for a little boy who was like me to take everything that was happening at the time, but I can never forget the incredible stories that tell soldiers and women heroes years later. This site, and the First Naval District, across the street, was the departure point for Naval seamen going on to tasks up to the 1970s.
Years later, I explicitly remember the Immigration Authorities abolished when I welcomed the Polish warden to sleep in the mayor's office in Boston City Hall. They were after the ship jumped right here at the cruiseport because they didn't want to go back to work for the communist government. The Boston ship left them without them.
But I also had other unusual experiences at that location. I was a state representative from South Boston and Dorchester. I was one of the most loyal people who supported the International Longshoremen Association. Her national president, Teddy Gleason, presented a lifelong membership card in the ILA. The ILA also confidently decided to boycott a Russian cargo ship from unionist coastlines in Boston as a protest from Russia hosting the Olympic Games. This boycott and blockade created great controversy with businesses in the Soviet Union and around the world. Years later, my wife Kathy and I were invited to take lunch with Pope John Paul II, Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev, President Lech Walesa of Poland and president of the Philippines, Corazon Aquino. At lunch, Gorbachev told me that the barrage and boycott had a huge impact on the elimination of communal power in Eastern Europe. So when our national, state and Boston political leaders meet on St. Patrick's Day at Cruiseport Flynn in South Boston for the first time to continue this political tradition of Boston in Ireland, they will celebrate where there are immigrants, American military warriors and men and women helped America greatly.
Raymond L. Flynn is a former Boston mayor and former US ambassador. to the Vatican.