Updated: Jul 9, 2019
My parents came to America in 1949, bringing with them two children and two suitcases, and leaving behind family, friends and a war-torn landscape. As our ship docked in Boston Harbor, my father brought out a big book and told his 7-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter, "Now you must learn English because you are an American."
The memory has never left me, nor has the pride my parents instilled in me to love our country. We were the "poor, the huddle masses yearning to breathe free."
My father gave back. He was a doctor. He spoke seven languages. He was able to speak with patients all over the Dakotas, in their native language, healing the sick and savings lives.
So on this great day let us be the America that unites in counting our blessings and be aware of the millions of Americans who are performing acts of kindness every day for neighbors and fellow countrymen. Let us be grateful for every bite of food we take, for the roofs over our heads, the luxuries that make up our American way of life, while remembering those with less, those who are hungry, those who are "the tired, the poor and the huddled masses yearning to breathe free."