I must admit, not being a born American, I have always had a problem with July 4th, Independence Day. I just never quite got the hang of it! Thanksgiving was much easier. It was like Christmas only earlier.
However this year it is much more meaningful. Not because of the food and fireworks, but because of what independence and freedom means. I was not a refugee and I had no language barriers, so for all intents and purposes it should have been an easy transition, right? Yes, the paperwork and interviews etc. were easy. But leaving behind family and friends was daunting even for an adventurer like me. Immigration can be quite an isolating experience.
So this year as I witness the cruel and unusual treatment the immigrants are receiving at our borders, I feel ashamed. How could this wonderful country, which opened it arms to me and the people from the other 84 nations that stood next to me at my naturalization ceremony, behave in such a way? Babies, yes babies, torn away from their mothers and put in cages. It is truly shocking. These immigrants are just wanting a better and safe life for their families. They are escaping tyranny and dictators. A concept hard for the average American to wrap his arms around.
So on this day of independence try and put yourself in someone else’s shoes, for just a moment. Imagine their plight, their heartache and their longing for independence and be grateful for what we have.
Thank you for listening.
Today’s poem is in response to Word of the Day Challenge – Independence
Not American born
I come from overseas
An immigrant you would say
With no communicable disease
I am white and English speaking
What could be better than that
I do not look at it that way
I am no aristocrat
The plight of immigrants today
So poor as a church mouse
Treated like animals
Waiting for the slaughter house
They want what we have
There is no villainy
As did your forefathers
They escape the tyranny
If you can be anything
Be thoughtful and kind
It’s the independence they crave
Lady Justice is blind
Follow Poetry For Healing on WordPress.com