No one is originally from the United States – except for the endangered population of Native Americans that have survived this nation’s repeated efforts to wipe them out.
Everyone who is here today came from someplace else, fleeing hostile governments, uninhabitable lands, or drawn here because of a belief in the promise of America.
When I was a kid, one of my heroes was Igor Sikorsky, an engineering genius who made flying machines and, because he was inspired by DaVinci’s hand-drawing of a machine lifted by a rotating disk, set upon the task of creating the helicopter. Igor came to America from Russia because he had to flee the Bolsheviks.
Albert Einstein had to flee Europe because he was Jewish and met some resistance to becoming an American Citizen. We remember this brilliant physicist, ensconced at Princeton, partly concealed beneath an unruly mane of whitening hair. But there were those who weren’t sure he should be a citizen.
The Flannerys came from County Mayo to New York for reasons since obscured by the passing generations. My maternal grandmother left Ireland for the United States at 6 years of age. These immigrants from the sod met with some resistance because they were both Irish and Roman Catholic. Continue reading