I am beyond thrilled to share the following about the dedication of Annie Moore's memorial in Calvary Cemetery, Queens, NY on October 11th. It's free and open to the public, so if you're in the NY area, please consider joining us (see details at the end of this posting).
In addition to this event, there will be another the day before in Cork. A plaque will be placed on the last house Annie lived in before coming to America. All these years later, Annie's getting her due!
NYC Memorial Dedication Ceremony Oct 11 For Irish-American Immigration Icon "Ellis Island" Annie Moore Features Prominent Line Up
For Immediate Release
Julia Devous | 623-297-2206 | email@example.com
Phoenix, Arizona -- The memorial dedication ceremony for the unmarked gravesite of Irish-American historic icon Annie Moore, the first immigrant through Ellis Island in 1892, set for Saturday, October 11, 2008 at 3 p.m. at Calvary Cemetery in Queens, New York, will feature prominent members of the New York and Irish-American community and descendant family members.
Confirmed program participants in the Annie Moore dedication ceremony are:
Famed Irish tenor and New York City resident Ronan Tynan will perform "Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears," the iconic song about Ellis Island and Annie Moore written by Ireland's composer/lyricist Brendan Graham
"Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears" composer Brendan Graham will fly in from Ireland to attend the ceremony as an honored guest
Auxiliary Bishop Dennis Sullivan, vicar general, will preside over the ceremony representing the Archdiocese of New York
Radio personality Adrian Flannelly, host of New York's "Adrian Flannelly Show" for the Irish Radio Network USA, will serve as the Master of Ceremonies for the event
Ireland's New York Consul General Niall Burgess will represent the government of Ireland
Genealogist Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak will appear at the dedication and speak about her role in the discovery of the true story of Annie Moore
New York Commissioner of Records and Information Brian Andersson, who's genealogical detective work helped uncover the true identity of Annie as a New Yorker will make a presentation
Members of New York's County Cork Pipe and Drum Band, led by Kevin Healy, will perform throughout the ceremony
New York's County Cork Benevolent, Patriotic and Protective Association will provide flags, the County Cork banner and logistical support for the event
Patricia Prior, president of the Irish Cultural and Learning Foundation in Phoenix, Arizona, sponsor of the event and project, will make remarks
Members of the descendant family will speak and unveil the Annie Moore memorial
Great-granddaughter and project spokesperson Julia Devous states, "We are planning a special event to properly honor Annie as both a simple, humble woman of Irish heritage from the Lower East Side, and as an Irish-American historic icon. We understand that Annie holds a special place in the hearts and minds of Irish-American immigrants and their families here in America and Ireland. There has been such interest in Annie and the discovery of the real story of her life as a New Yorker that we expect this event to be high profile and well attended by the public - especially the New York Irish community." She continues, "All are welcome to join the family and project supporters. We hope to honor Annie as well as celebrate her place in history with this special dedication ceremony." "The ceremony incorporates both cultural and liturgical aspects, which we think are both fitting and appropriate to the occasion," Devous says. Government officials, dignitaries, project supporters, descendant family members and representatives of the Irish-American community and media are expected to attend. Representatives from Ellis Island National Monument have confirmed their attendance as well.
Annie Moore Schayer had at least ten children, of which only two, the Donovan and the Smith lines, have known living descendants today. There are five great-grandchild level families in existence and all five of these descendant lines of Annie Moore will attend and participate in the ceremony. They are (in order of age) great-grandchildren:
Maureen (Donovan) Peterson and family from Ocean Grove, NJ
Kevin Donovan and family from Howard Beach, NY
Pamela (Smith) Salm and family from Milwaukee, WI
Julia (Smith) Devous and family from Phoenix, AZ
and Teresa (Smith) Smith-DeHesus from Phoenix, AZ
Family members, great-granddaughters Julia Devous and Teresa Smith-DeHesus, great-great-granddaughters Adrienne (Donovan) Kraus and Sheleen (Donovan) Peterson, and Patricia (Smith) DeHesus, former wife of grandson Jack Smith, serve on the Annie Moore Memorial Project Steering Committee. Other descendant family members attending are Matthew (Donovan) Peterson, Alison Donovan, Dylan (Donovan) Kraus and Rachel Mary (Donovan) Kraus.
The monument, carved from Irish Blue Limestone was produced in County Clare, Ireland by master carver Francis McCormack of Irish Natural Stone Products, Ltd and is imported by their Boston affiliate, Irish Natural Stone, Inc. Cardinal Edward Egan, Archdiocese of New York, granted a special waiver for the use of Irish Blue Limestone for the monument in Calvary Cemetery due to the historic nature of the project. The monument is a simple but elegant Celtic cross with elements that represent both her Irish and American heritage, and her connection to the "Ellis Island" story. The monument production is complete and it is en route to the United States, scheduled to arrive in early October.
The unmarked gravesite of historic figure "Ellis Island" Annie Moore was discovered in 2006 when noted genealogists corrected history by unveiling her true identity and story.
On January 1, 1892, Annie Moore, a teenage girl from County Cork, Ireland, made headlines as the first immigrant to be processed at Ellis Island. Her image will forever represent the millions who passed through Ellis Island in pursuit of the American dream, and is a symbol for immigrants of all nations that have contributed to the rich fabric of the United States. On September 15, 2006 noted genealogists revealed the true identity and story of Annie and her descendants. At that time it was also discovered that Annie Moore's remains lie in an unmarked grave in Calvary Cemetery, Queens, New York, along with five of her children. Led by descendant family members and supporters, the Annie Moore Memorial Project, established through the Irish Cultural and Learning Foundation of Phoenix, Arizona, was created to raise funds for a monument for her unmarked gravesite. Fully donor supported, funding for this special project has been realized through a national and international effort.
Great-granddaughter and project spokesperson Julia Devous will arrive in New York City on October 8 and will be available for advance in-person interviews preceding the event. Members of Phoenix's Irish Cultural and Learning Foundation board and Project Steering Committee, and other descendant family members, will arrive in New York at various times prior to the event and are available for interviews. All are available for interviews on October 11 after the event.
Design illustrations of the monument and production photos by master carver Francis McCormack at Irish Natural Stone Products, Ireland, are available upon request.
What: Dedication of "Ellis Island" Annie Moore Memorial
When: Saturday, October 11, 2008 at 3 p.m.
Where: Calvary Cemetery, Queens, New York
4902 Laurel Hill Blvd, Woodside, NY 11377
Plot location Section 20/Third Calvary; enter from 52nd St and Queens Blvd
Recommend arrive at 2:30 to allow for ample time to park
Admission: Free and open to the public
(note: if you're thinking of coming and have any questions, shoot me an email: Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak, firstname.lastname@example.org)