Posted By: July 31, 2022

CAPITOL HILL. Sunday, July 31, 2022.

Friday, August 5, is the One Year Anniversary of the death of beloved President Richard L. Trumka, AFL-CIO.

Fr. Sean McManus—Chief Judge of the World Peace Prize and President of the Capitol Hill-based Irish National Caucus— said: “Truth be told, I am still mourning the death of the Great Man. And I still cannot believe he’s dead. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Mrs. Trumka, and their son, Rich Jr., and his family. God rest President Trumka’s noble soul. May his memory be a blessing.”

Fr. Mc Manus knew President Trumka for many years. He first contacted Fr. McManus long before he was President of the AFL-CIO (which had endorsed the Irish National Caucus in February 1975) to express concern about the 1981 Hunger Strikers.

In 2013, when the World Peace Prize, headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, requested the help of the Irish National Caucus to promote its mission in America, President Trumka was the “first to sign up,” so to speak. Barbara Flaherty, Executive Vice President, Irish National Caucus and Chair of the World Peace Prize Presentation and Fr. McManus became increasingly frequent visitors to the iconic AFL-CIO Headquarters in Washington. President Trumka enthusiastically and wholeheartedly embraced the concept of placing American Organized Labor in the category of those who should be considered as suitable candidates for the World Peace Prize.

Fr. Mc Manus explained: “President Trumka was deeply grateful for our making an intrinsic link between American Organized Labor—which we see as Organized Love of Neighbor—

and World Peace”—

Fr. McManus continued: “President Trumka officially and formally helped us launch the World Peace Prize in his own AFL-CIO Headquarters on February 3, 2016, by being the first Labor leader to receive the World Peace Prize of ‘Roving Ambassador for Peace.’ He, of course, did not personally ‘need’ this Prize but he accepted it as the best means to spread the word, and to ensure that others in Organized Labor would receive it—many thousands of which he said deserved it.

At the time, I told him that his generous desire in wanting other Labor leaders to be given the World Peace Prize would be an important part of his legacy. He smiled and said, ‘From your mouth to God’s ears, Fr. Sean.’ And, indeed, so it came to be.

When we announced that the World Peace Prize for Solidarity (which President Trumka had also agreed to receive ‘to spread the word’) would be re-named on his death the ‘Richard L. Trumka World Peace Prize for Solidarity,’ the Trumka Family issued this statement: ‘We are honored that Rich’s name will live on, always linked with solidarity and peace because the World Peace Prize for Solidarity will be re-named in his honor the ‘Richard L. Trumka World Peace Prize for Solidarity.’ (October 9, 2021).

President Shuler, successor to President Trumka, warmly welcomed the World Peace Prize initiative in re-naming the Solidarity Prize in honor of President Trumka, stating: ‘Rich Trumka’s contributions to peace and prosperity around the world were countless. He was a global ambassador for worker rights, economic justice, dignity, and respect for all human beings. I can think of no one more deserving of this honor.” (November 8, 2021).

And International President Cecil E. Roberts, United Mine Workers of America said: ‘The world lost a lion in the fight for peace and justice when we lost Rich Trumka. For each of the more than 40 years that I knew him, his first priority was to do everything he could to ensure workers had enough to eat, that they had a decent place to live and that their children had an opportunity to live in peace and freedom. I wish that he was still with us to accept this award, but our memories of him remain and guide us to continue to work for peace in his absence.’ (November 10, 2021).

Fr. Mc Manus concluded: “God rest President Trumka. And God bless his family on this One Year Anniversary.”