St. Patrick's Day Parade Grand Marshal John Burke was formally presented to the public today at the investiture ceremony in downtown Savannah. Burke joined other legends of Savannah's Irish community who have been recognized for their contributions to the green. He was presented with the Grand Marshal's sash by 2006 Grand Marshal Tony Ryan and then the Marshal's medal by his daughters.
St. Vincent's serenaded their leader and civic dignitaries brought their greetings to the grand marshal as well. Burke, who was born in Maine, is one of the rare non-natives to attain the Savannah Irish community's highest honor.
"While I was born in Maine," Burke told WTOC, "I've been a resident of Savannah now for more than 50 years. I consider it my home and it is the warmth and friendliness of its citizens, particularly the Irish community, that has made it that way and I am most grateful."
Burke will lead Savannah's St. Patrick's Day Parade through downtown on Saturday, March 17.