I still remember as a little boy walking with my mom on Saturdays to a local school for our weekly handouts of powdered milk and cheese. We were told it was a gift from America. At that time I didn’t know much about America but we were grateful because Americans’ generosity kept us from going hungry.
Back then the desire to move to the land of “milk and cheese” was born and when the opportunity presented itself I left everything behind, even my dying father, to achieve my dream. As I arrived the process of assimilation began. This was rather easy for me because I wanted to live American dream. I also had plenty of people who embraced me and reached out to help. I will never forget my naturalization ceremony and the gleaming pride and joy I felt that day.
This doesn’t seem to be the case with today’s immigrants. They seem to resist assimilation. They tend to create their own enclaves, little countries of their own and physically they are here but their hearts are not. They don’t seem to appreciate a second chance on life gifted to them. You get impression they don’t love this land and want to be here. I often argue with my countrymen about this, they criticize me for being too Americanized, I tell them thank you for the compliment. The choice for immigrants is simple, you either love and live the life of this country or move out.
Anton Babic, Belleville