DUBLIN — Ireland on Sunday commemorated the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising, a botched but historically significant rebellion against British rule that lasted for six days and that would lead eventually to the creation of an independent republic,USA Today reports.
The Rising is being celebrated all over Ireland but hundreds of thousands of people traveled to Dublin’s city center for a parade and main remembrance ceremony outside the General Post Office, or GPO, which served as the headquarters for the insurrection’s leaders, including Patrick Pearse. The revolt began on Easter Monday in 1916.
Pearse along with 15 other leaders of the uprising where subsequently executed by the British. “We seem to have lost; but we have not lost. To refuse to fight would have been to lose; to fight is to win. We have kept faith with the past, and handed on its tradition to the future,” Pearse said at his court-martial in May that year.
Ben Phillips, Pearse’s great-grand nephew, told USA TODAY that he continues to be amazed by the valor and sacrifices made by the rebels 100 years later.
“They knew they were going to die when they started this,” he said. “They were taking on an empire that had never really, with the exception of in the United States, been beaten.”