Annie Moore of Ellis Island fame was finally and properly commemorated in both Cork and New York last Friday and Saturday.
On October 10, 2008, a plaque was installed on the last house she lived in before coming to America. You can watch the reveal of the plaque and remarks made by the Lord Mayor of Cork and the U.S. General Consul in the following video. And you can see a charming rendition of what I think of as Annie's song by local children. Tim McCoy, who guided local school children in making a film about Annie last year, was also instrumental in this event.
On the following day, October 11, 2008, a memorial was dedicated to Annie in Calvary Cemetery in Queens, NY. Her family orchestrated a lovely event that included, among other highlights, Ronan Tynan singing Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears. The songwriter, Brendan Graham, came from Ireland especially for the event. Also present were about a dozen of Annie's descendants, the memorial designer, radio personality Adrian Fennelly, and Bishop Sullivan of New York. I was given the honor of speaking and had the unusual experience of reading a letter from Barack Obama who paid tribute to Annie on her special day.
On a personal note, my life has been so hectic of late that I find that I'm only now absorbing the impact of these twin events as I write these words. Until two years ago, the wrong Annie had accidentally usurped the true Annie's place, but now, thanks to the efforts of her descendants, many of our descendants will remember Annie.
And though Brian Andersson and I tend to get most or even all of the credit for uncovering Annie's real story, the fact is that this came about due to the efforts of many genealogists who contributed their skills and talents. Tracy Stencil, Sharon Elliott and ProGenealogists.com all come to mind. I've touted them in talks and interviews, but they typically don't make it to the final version -- and heaven knows how many others were involved when we all blogged and surfed our way to the true Annie a couple of years ago. So to all those who contributed, thank you for literally correcting history.