Thursday, March 29, 2007

What's in a name?

Heroes are the scaffolding of historical consciousness and action. The name of this blog, Misión Riley, pays homage to an American hero, John Riley.

Wikipedia: John Riley (Jon Riley/John O'Riley), 1805-1850, a United States Army lieutenant, was one of the estimated 800 immigrant Irishmen who deserted the US Army to fight for Mexico in the 1846-48 war.

Riley and Patrick Dalton formed the Batallón de San Patricio, (St. Patrick's Battalion) or the San Patricios. They fought at the Battle of Churubusco, on the outskirts of Mexico City, where they were captured.

Riley, native of Clifden, Ireland, is buried in the cemetery of Vera Cruz as Juan Reley.

More on the St. Patrick Battalion, and even more.

Radical folk singer David Rovics wrote and recorded a beautiful song about the St. Patrick battalion: