PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The annual St. Patrick’s Day commemoration ceremony was held at Philadelphia’s Irish Memorial on Saturday. The ceremony focused on the challenges faced by immigrants of the past as well as the present.

Speaker after speaker discussed the struggles and sacrifices of Irish immigrants and tied it into current day challenges faced by immigrants to this country.

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Among them was Congressman Brendan Boyle.

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“The same sort of ant-Irish, anti-Catholic rhetoric that was hurled at those initial immigrants, some of those same words are bring used today about immigrants of the 21st century,” Boyle said. “And so those of us who are proud of our ancestry want to make that connection and say that we have an obligation of the immigrants of today.”

The immigrants of today, Boyle says, can go on to be great Americans, just as it was shown through Irish history.

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Shamrocks were also planted to honor the dead and dancers, mostly children, performed at the ceremony.