Friday, November 21, 2014

First Generation Americans

This is a photo of my Granny (on the right, "Lily", Lydia Campuzano), sisters Jessie and Berta and probably some cousins, in an undated photo from the early 1930s. They were the first generation born in Arizona of the family of my Mexican great-grandparents, Plutarco Campuzano and Manuela Portillo.
Photo source: Patty Marple. Campuzano siblings.
My great-grandparents came to this country on foot, and as far as I've been able to tell, they never became citizens. They worked hard and raised a family. My Granny and her siblings were born Americans. Their descendants are now spread across the US (with one in Europe), raising families and working to contribute to America's present and future.

I know this is a divisive issue in this country right now. For me, the closing words of the President in last night's address hit home. If you didn't watch the speech, Time has a complete transcript at

"My fellow Americans, we are and always will be a nation of immigrants. We were strangers once, too. And whether our forebears were strangers who crossed the Atlantic, or the Pacific, or the Rio Grande, we are here only because this country welcomed them in, and taught them that to be an American is about something more than what we look like, or what our last names are, or how we worship. What makes us Americans is our shared commitment to an ideal – that all of us are created equal, and all of us have the chance to make of our lives what we will.

That’s the country our parents and grandparents and generations before them built for us. That’s the tradition we must uphold. That’s the legacy we must leave for those who are yet to come."

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