Thursday, March 18, 2010

One of the Crowd

The fountains ran green in my town this week. From shoreline to shoreline, in big city and small, Americans celebrated the Irish on St. Patrick’s Day.  As happens every March the seventeenth, toasts were made and parades were held, Yeats was quoted and misquoted. Danny Boy was wistfully sung in voices both in tune and out, and from the tiniest babe to the grey-haired amongst us, all wore a bit o’ green for the day.

One of the most remarkable things about the United States is that we are a nation of immigrants.  It is our most marked characteristic and what makes America unique.  For each of us has, somewhere in the upper branches of our family tree, someone who came here from another country, and while we share a fierce love of our United States, for each of us there is another homeland in our history, another flag that knew us when.   We cannot escape our geneology, not should we wish to.

It is said that America is a melting pot, and I personally have always loved that description. So many colourful seasonings from so many countries all mingling together make for an flavourful, one-of-a-kind concoction.  This myriad of amazing representatives from foreign shores has enriched our culture immeasurably, and continues to do so.   Our music, our cuisine, our literature, our spirit - take away one ingredient and this grand experiment called America would be so much the lesser for it.

 So La Paix, or Fois Scots, Saanti, Siochain, or Pax.
  Tonight I am happy to be but one of this crowd called America.

There are no strangers here; 
Only friends you haven’t yet met”.
William Butler Yeats