Credit: NPS Photo
Immigrants were examined by doctors and questioned by legal inspectors in this room
“Between 1880 and 1930, over 27 million people entered the United States – about 12 million through Ellis Island. But after the outbreak of World War I in 1914, American attitudes toward immigration began to shift. Nationalism and suspicion of foreigners were on the rise, and immigrants’ loyalties were often called into question. Through the early 1920s, a series of laws were passed to limit the flow of immigrants.” Source
During the last years of the nineteenth, and early years of the twentieth century, immigrants, whose first glimpse of America was the Statue of Liberty, with the New York skyline as a backdrop, must have had an indelible image placed in their memories.
This land of promise, of real freedom, the ability to pursue ones aspirations, hopes and dreams, devoid of the chains imposed by despots, resulted in a group of people who, among those already born here, were to become known as “The Greatest Generation”.
These were to become a joint brotherhood as Americans; not a suspension, but a blending of individuals from all ethnicities, no isolated allegiances to old cultures, but pledging their allegiance to America, understanding that they were to embrace the ideals, the foundations upon which she was formed, that our freedoms come from the Creator, not from mere men.
Yes, we are a nation of immigrants. The concept of the “melting pot” has been undermined by decades of indolence, ingratitude toward so many who -indeed- pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor, many died penniless; an indifference to these concepts, paid in blood by our forefathers, and the many Veterans who gave all, in the pitched battle to prevent Fascism from enslaving the nations in WW II.
Edmund Burke (1729-1797) said “Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it.” The consequences of forgetting the lessons of history, have come back to haunt us – in spades.
This November may well decide whether – as Lincoln stated when ending his Gettysburg Address, “… this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
November 19, 1863
Thanks to insanitybytes22 for this link: