When was the last time that you had a long day at work and couldn’t wait to get home? Maybe, it wasn’t the job that kept you away from the family homestead but a long trip. Time and distance have kept you away for far too long. All you want to do is hug a loved one, eat a sumptuous, home-cooked meal and sleep in your own warm, comfy bed. Yet, somehow, there are still miles and miles between you and your heart’s longing.
What if the journey home involved traveling to unknown lands or a new country? For many of our ancestors, this is exactly how it was when they came to make their home in these United States of America. They came by land and by sea. They truly were in it for the long haul. Both modes of travel could take months, sometimes years, depending on where the family came from, where they were headed, what time of year they left and the hardships that they faced along the way.
Oftentimes, if an immigrant coming in through Ellis Island in New York was too sick to work in this country, they were sent back to their country of origin. If a child under 12 was considered to sick to stay, they were sent back with one parent while the other parent stayed here. If it were a child over 12 who was too sick to remain in the country, he was sent back alone! Such a travesty but that’s the way it was in those days. You have to really want these United States and what they signify. One must be willing to stand up for them, even when it’s hard, even when you don’t always agree or when you think it can’t get any worse! Our worst day in America is someone’s best in a third world country, I can guarantee you that!
So, if you take away nothing else from this, know that your ancestors worked very hard so that you and I, their descendants, could have a better life in a new country. They wanted you to enjoy all the perks and freedoms that this country has to offer, Be blessed, my friend, and keep the hope of this country alive for future generations!
Till we meet again!