I thought these words from the prologue of the book GALWAY BAY by Mary Pat Kelly are very appropriate.
"We starved. More than a million dead...most of them in the West, which was only a quarter of the country, with Ireland itself just half the size of Illinois. A small place to hold so much suffering. But we didn't all die. Two million of us escaped one reaching back for the next.
Surely one of the great rescues in human history. We saved ourselves, helped only by God and our own strong faith. Now look at us, doing well all over the world. We didn't die."