New face of America
Grannie and your humble correspondent spent the few days before Christmas visiting a granddaughter who lives on the giant west coast Camp Pendleton Installation. She and her Marine husband, when he is not deployed, reside in military family housing built on a high bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It has been an idyllic respite from the rigors of icy roads, wind and snow the norm for Southwestern Nebraska at the moment.
That aside it has been interesting to observe the makeup of the Marines, their spouses and children, going about the business of everyday living on this huge reservation. We encountered them at the Camp Exchange, the Commissary, the gasoline station, on the Del Mar Beach and walking their dogs throughout the military housing area.
I am reminded of Emma Lazarus' sonnet, New Colossus which is engraved upon a plaque within the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty that reads in part:
"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
You see the vast majority of these people I encountered in that patriotic place do not look like the pale complexion Caucasian majority that we know and love back home. The youthful population at Pendleton displayed a broad array of skin colors ranging from the deepest black to the lily white of Scandinavian heritage. Broad flat nose types range to the aquiline thin and long. Eyes that look out of the thinest horizontal lines to wide open smiling and round. Hair color from the tightest curly black to flowing and blonde. Round faces to the high cheek bones of more Asian heritage. They obviously come from a mixed gene pool of people around the world. Shin hues of brown and black hair and brown eyes seem to predominate.All are accepted, work and play together. I think that we were looking at the people of our future in the liberty loving USofA.
Case in point. Grannie looked up a pair of the young men who had been deployed to Afghanistan this past summer and received some of the "care" boxes that she shipped from this community through her Adopt a Chaplain program. The Marines are provided medical care from Navy personnel and her two arrived wearing the Navy camouflage uniform. Blake hailed from Alabama, tall and of light complexion. Jesus "Jess" about six foot, black hair, square face with high prominent cheek bones, dark eyes and the strong accent of his native Philippines. He had learned English on his own and emigrated to the States as a teenager. Jess joined the Navy and after three years service began the process of attaining his US citizenship. He will retire from the military in a few months and forever live and work in San Diego with his wife and three children. 100% American.
Grannie Annie was honored by her two returning war veterans who presented a flag that had been flown over their medical unit set in the dusty plains of Afghanistan. The certificate of authenticity states that it waved its stars an stripes on the 7th of June 2014 which just happened to be our 55th wedding anniversary! There just might have been a tear or two shed on both sides of the aisle.
America beckons to the "downtrodden the world around as the land of liberty and opportunity. They come legally if they can and illegally if they can see no other way. When they join our military they fight under the USA flag. They are loyal to none other no matter their country of origin. They are forever American and proud.
We as a country need to get our act together, as the military has done, to welcome all immigrants and encourage (insist) that they become Americans. They need to learn English, work -- no more welfare, own property and contribute to their polyglot community. No more Mexican-Americans, or Somali-Americans, the list goes on, but simply Americans. Look around at your friends and neighbors. Do you see German-Americans, Irish-Americans, French-Americans, Scottish-Americans? No the distinction has gone, now we are all proudly and simply claim to be American.
Now if our politicians would quit the back-biting over immigration and pave the way to earned citizenship our country will be the better for it! Immigration must be controlled. The current hare-brained scheme to attract large number of future voters for one political party or the other will not cut it. We are already long on criminals and others with undesirable tendencies and need not allow more across our borders. Religion may be a touchy subject but those individuals which have been inculcated with the idea that killing those with whom they disagree is the way to a strange heaven need not be welcomed. Christians yes. Radicalized Muslims may be happier in some Islamic State somewhere else.
Let us always remember its Christianity based on the Bible that founded Western Civilization. It is Christianity that spreads the word for peace, redemption and salvation for those who desire it. Our nation has strong Judeo-Christian heritage which is important to our identity and the strong value system that characterizes our mores and way of life.
When Ms. Lazarus' sonnet was adopted as the mood for our country's most welcoming symbol, the Statue of Liberty, those individuals with disease and other ills were turned away. Again our military standards could be applied -- if they would not be physically qualified to serve maybe our country doesn't need to welcome them into citizenship.
"Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, I lift my lamp beside the golden door".
Ah, the fresh air of Liberty. Welcome.
That is the way I saw it.