As we approach the end of Immigrant Heritage Month, the celebration of our nation’s diverse, rich history and the global influences that make it so, I reflect on my family’s own journey from Poland. I recalled the stories passed on to me at an early age, and the incredible sense of gratefulness to this nation for accepting us with open arms. Lady Liberty’s embrace upon the immigrant, I began to notice, had frequently instilled very strong patriotic emotions in these new Americans for their new home. In my family’s case, like many other immigrants, a short history easily explains why.
First and foremost this author is recalling the stories passed on to him at an early age. Secondly, he remembers a sense of gratefulness to this nation for accepting his family with open arms. However, let me ask you: “Do you feel Lady Liberty’s embrace, or the patriotic emotions of any new Americans? Moreover, this attitude that he has is inspirational and powerful, yet I wonder if there exists a new immigrant today that still has this type of recollection. Now on with his story…
The year was 1968. Poland was fully engulfed in the Soviet Union’s sphere of influence, and communism was being force-fed fed upon the Polish people through a puppet government. The Poles did not embrace communism, did not want it, and ultimately did not tolerate it. Although the seeds for the now famous Solidarity Movement that was formed about 10 years later were sown at this time and change was on the horizon.
As for me I understand this as you should as well. In 1968 the Soviet Union was forcing their style of living on the Poles. Today I see this exact same behavior in our Congressional officials, Cabinet officers, and much to my chagrin, within the White House most of all. To listen to this man, Barack Obama, tell us that he is in the process of winding down as POTUS, I ask anyone, please share with us what it is that you need winding down from?
Let’s see — could it be the nuclear talks with Iran? Oh c’mon man, when it is all done we all know that all of American assets will be fitting neatly within the crosshairs of their sights. Maybe (with enormous amounts of laughter) you’ve discovered a way to give less in the form of entitlements? Or just say it Obama, you are scared breathless of ISL.
Thus, when all my high school friends were considering colleges, I felt a strong desire to give back to the country that had given my family everything we had. Rather than moving on to university, I chose instead to enlist in the United States Army. This today is a noble notion, albeit I don’t feel or see this nearly as much as it is heralded to be.
In the case of Polish Americans, we have had a long-standing tradition of serving this nation from its earliest years. During the Revolutionary War, heroes such as Casimir Pulaski and General Tadeusz Kosciuszko stand out. Kosciusko, who is a distant relative of mine, best known for designing the entire defensive structure at the United States Military Academy, West Point, and Pulaski was dubbed the “father of the American Cavalry.”
Immigrant Heritage Month gives us an opportunity to recognize the stories and contributions from those who came to make this country great in their own way. Let us not forget that one of those ways represents among the highest possible patriotic callings, to serve in our nation’s Armed Forces. It does indeed; however, given today’s hand opened America I believe that there is far, far less of it going on.