Skip to comments."34 Glorious,American Years that Iíve lived in America"
Posted on 07/23/2012 5:33:43 PM PDT by djone
Every year on July 20th, I celebrate the day my mother and I arrived in America. In 1977, the year I was born and the year my father, his mother, his aunt and many other Jews left the Soviet Union (my mother and I left in 1978), the Soviet propaganda machine began circulating a rumor. It went, roughly: life in America is so terrible that the old people eat cat food. This was
perplexing. People didnt quite get it: they have food specifically made for cats in America? What a country!
(Excerpt) Read more at alarmingnews.com ...
A week after my father arrived in New York, he and a friend were walking around Manhattan in pure wonder. They got to midtown and stood in front of Bloomingdales watching well-dressed people come in and out. They discussed it amongst themselves that they would obviously have to show evidence that they had money, or proof of income, or some other paperwork to get inside. Surely this store for the wealthy wouldnt just let them in. They watched and watched but didnt see people getting stopped. They walked slowly through the doors and found no one gave them a second look.
Theres a feeling in America today that there isnt equality until any of us can walk into Bloomingdales and buy whatever we want. The two men standing there in 1977 werent thinking that it was unfair they couldnt wear the same clothes as the beautiful people around them, they were just grateful for the opportunity to try. They had left a place where that opportunity simply didnt exist. You were born poor and you would die pooreveryone would. You could gain influence in your life and that might get you small victoriesinstead of being assigned to practice your profession in Siberia you might get lucky and get sent to a capital city. Perhaps you, your wife, your child, your parents and other relatives could have your own apartment, one you wouldnt have to share with another family. Those were your wins.
Its hard for Americans, even the ones who see Americas greatness and love this country for it, to understand the lack of opportunity that my family left. As Communism retreats into the rear-view mirror of history its easy to gloss over the everyday ways that Communism is meant to crush the individual and make everyone equalequally poor, equally scared, equally hopeless.
If youve always lived in a country where companies make food specifically for cats then youve known an abundance that my family couldnt even begin to imagine while they waited to be free. They wanted to say and do whatever they wanted, to live freely, to be allowed to earn as much money as they could, to keep their family safe from murderous ideologies and monster rulers. They just wanted the chance. Success isnt guaranteed to anyone, and they knew this, but only if you come from a land of opportunity do you ever imagine that its even possible.
This year marks 34 years that Ive lived in America. Even in the toughest times, in its darkest days, the times where we all might feel pessimistic about our collective future, were all so blessed to be here. On each July 20th I remember exactly how blessed.
Happy Anniversary, djone! I am glad you’re here!!
My ship docked at Hoboken, NJ exactly on December 25, 1956.
I was one scared, lonely and homesick 20-year old.
I now shudder to think if had not made that glorious and fateful decision to cross the Atlantic.
In 1976 Viktor Belenko, a Soviet fighter pilot, defected to Japan in a Mig 25. He was subsequently taken to the U.S. In the book “MIG Pilot” he tells of the wonder and amazement of seeing everyday going’s on in America. His visit to a suburban Washington shopping center was much the same as djone writes about her father in front of Bloomingdale’s. The supermarket was Viktor’s Bloomingdale’s. He couldn’t believe the selection of products, particularly fresh meet that was, imagine this, “wrapped in plastic so that the customer could it for freshness and quality”. Lastly he commented on the fact that there was no odor of spoiled and rotten food.
It’s a great read and one that I think is germaine today.
Maybe the Soviets got that propaganda from the democrat party. They have said basically the same thing. I always knew there were many similarities between communism and the democrat party.
Happy anniversary....this touched me so much. I forget, sometimes, I really do. Thank you for reminding me and for loving this country like you do.
Delightful! So glad you are here and see America for the wonderful place it is, too many of our own citizens don’t feel that way.
So glad you made the trip!
This is hilarious.
My wife is from China. Her aunt, who grew up in China during the Cultural Revolution, was told “Americans hate their leaders, they throw eggs and tomatoes at them.”
At the time she thought - America must be far better than China if they have extra food (especially eggs!) to throw. I wish someone was throwing eggs at me!
China is now rising and they own the U.S.
What do we have in the U.S. now , just debt. The U.S. is living on debt and wealth built up in the past, past glories. We are in decline. Politicians let China produce everything and now China owns U.s. politicians.
I read that book. I guess for anyone like Belenko coming from a third-world country like the old Soviet Union to America must have like stepping into Oz.
Back in the early 1990s there was an exchange student from Russia at our school. My daughter took her to Walmart and her eyes got big as saucers! She could not believe all we had in the US.
Thank you for sharing. We should all celebrate our blessings! Whether we came by boat, met the boat; whether the arrival was through Ellis Island, San Francisco or GalVESton....we ALL have much to appreciate.
THank you for a great read and for this pogniant reminded of what a great country we live in and how blessed we American’s are.
Your story should be read by everyone to remind all about what we have and why we should fight tooth and nail to keep this country just as it is so more people like your family have the opportunity to come here and experience their own “Bloomingdale’s moment”.
Thanks, so am I.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.