Irish Studies Program Holds O’Rorke Memorial
Tuesday, July 2, marked the 150th anniversary of the death of Colonel Patrick O’Rorke, and the St. John Fisher College Irish Studies Program, along with the Col. Patrick O’Rorke Memorial Society, held a commemoration event at his gravesite at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery.
O’Rorke was born in County Cavan in 1837 and emigrated to Rochester in 1842. He attended Martin Luther King Jr. School No. 9, and graduated first in his class from West Point in 1861. He was killed on the Little Round Top at the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863.
The memorial ceremony included a musket and artillery salute and “Taps” was played by a local bugler. Michael Corporan, a current School No. 9 student, read President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address to the crowd, which included one of O’Rorke’s relatives from Ireland. Father Leo Hetzler, Professor Emeritus, offered the Benediction.
The Ancient Order of Hibernians, the Ladies’ Ancient Order of Hibernians, and the Gates Keystone Pipe Band also participated in the ceremony. In addition, the Rochester Historical Society had artifacts from O’Rorke on display, including his uniform, spy glass, correspondence, and compass.
Last fall, the College and the O’Rorke Memorial Society dedicated a bust of O’Rorke, which now sits in the College’s Lavery Library.
School No. 9 student Michael Corporan reads Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, as O'Rorke Memorial Society president Tom O'Connell stands by.
O'Rorke's grave, center, flanked by two family members. On the far right is a uniform he owned that now belongs to the Rochester Historical Society.