By Mike Dougherty

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A tribute this morning at the Irish Memorial in Old City honored the millions of Irish immigrants who were starved to death in the mid-1800s.

A large crowd surrounded the statue in the park at Front and Chestnut Streets for the 9th annual ceremony. Timmy Kelly and his father Tim have been coming here since the beginning.

“Anything I can do to honor the Irish heritage, I’m in for that,” Timmy said. “This a great event to be a part of, and I’m honored to be here.”

“It’s always fun to be here. Timmy will be singing, the Irish people are playing now, so it’s a thrill to be here.”

Memorial board member Michael Bradley says it’s nice to see a serious celebration to honor the Irish on St. Patrick’s Day:

“People not just walking around wearing plastic hats and drinking green beer.”

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