I do not know Rosemary La Bonte nor her husband. All I know is that Rosemary wrote a beautiful letter to the editor of the Orange County Register, a California newspaper. It never got published. Her husband David took it upon himself to publish it for her. He sent it to friends via e-mail and asked them to keep it moving, and that is how I got it. Rosemary eloquently writes about immigration and the Statue of Liberty and what it means to her..
Here is her husbands introduction to her letter:
For some reason, people have difficulty structuring their arguments when arguing against supporting the currently proposed immigration revisions. This lady made the argument pretty simple. NOT printed in the Orange County Paper … Newspapers simply won’t publish letters to the editor which they either deem politically incorrect (read below) or which does not agree with the philosophy they’re pushing on the public. This woman wrote a great letter to the editor that should have been published; but, with your help, it will get published via cyberspace! From: “David LaBonte
My wife, Rosemary, wrote a wonderful letter to the editor of the OC Register which, of course, was not printed. So, I decided to “print” it myself by sending it out on the Internet. Pass it along if you feel so inclined. Written in response to a series of letters to the editor in the Orange County Register:
The Statue of Liberty
So many letter writers have based their arguments on how this land is made up of immigrants. Ernie Lujan for one, suggests we should tear down the Statue of Liberty because the people now in question aren’t being treated the same as those who passed through Ellis Island and other ports of entry. Maybe we should turn to our history books and point out to people like Mr. Lujan why today’s American is not willing to accept this new kind of immigrant any longer. Back in 1900 when there was a rush from all areas of Europe to come to the United States, people had to get off a ship and stand in a long line in New York and be documented. Some would even get down on their hands and knees and kiss the ground. They made a pledge to uphold the laws and support their new country in good and bad times. They made learning English a primary rule in their new American households and some even changed their names to blend in with their new home. They had waved good-bye to their birth place to give their children a new life and did everything in their power to help their children assimilate into one culture. Nothing was handed to them. No free lunches, no welfare, no labor laws to protect them. All they had were the skills and craftsmanship they had brought with them to trade for a future of prosperity.
Most of their children came of age when World War II broke out. My father fought alongside men whose parents had come straight over from Germany, Italy, France and Japan. None of these 1st generation Americans ever gave any thought about what country their parents had come from. They were Americans fighting Hitler, Mussolini and the Emperor of Japan. They were defending the United States of America as one people. When we liberated France, no one in those villages were looking for the French-American or the German-American or the Irish-American. The people of France saw only Americans. And we carried one flag that represented one country. Not one of those immigrant sons would have thought about picking up another country’s flag and waving it to represent who they were. It would have been a disgrace to their parents who had sacrificed so much to be here. These immigrants truly knew what it meant to be an American. They stirred the melting pot into one red, white and blue bowl. And here we are with a new kind of immigrant who wants the same rights and privileges. Only they want to achieve it by playing with a different set of rules, one that includes the entitlement card and a guarantee of being faithful to their mother country. I’m sorry, that’s not what being an American is all about. I believe that the immigrants who landed on Ellis Island in the early 1900’s deserve better than that for all the toil, hard work and sacrifice in raising future generations to create a land that has become a beacon for those legally searching for a better life. I think they would be appalled that they are being used as an example by those waving foreign country flags. And for that suggestion about taking down the Statue of Liberty, it happens to mean a lot to the citizens who are voting on the immigration bill. I wouldn’t start talking about dismantling the United States just yet.
(signed) Rosemary LaBonte
In support of Rosemary’s suggestion that we not take down the Statue of Liberty I have often thought that we should build carbon copies of Lady Liberty and place them at the official entry points into the United States. Along with the statue, I suggest we construct a replica of Ellis Island staffed to take care of all who want to become residents. We must celebrate a system that worked as well as that which our parents endured with emulation. Instead, we have fellow citizens who want to tear down the successful system and open the door to anyone at anytime to partake of the benefits and to then return “home” with the booty.
Many times, I asked my Dad if he missed his home country, each time he answered “this is my home country.” Mom had a slightly different perspective. She pined for her home town and her mother and brother. The pining never stoped, and when she was seventy-eight years old we gifted her with a trip home. She spent six weeks living with her niece in her “home” town. When she returned, I asked her if she wanted to move back home? She responded, “this is my home.” Dad became an American with his first step onto North American soil. Mom took a few years longer, but she finally admitted she too was an American.