Today, May 11, is the birthday of one of our most famous immigrants. Born the son of a rabbi, he emigrated with his family from Russia to New York. Falling in love with America, he served as a sergeant during World War I. After taking up a career in music, he wrote some of our all-time popular songs, such as "White Christmas" and "God Bless America." He gave the royalties from those two songs to the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts. His name was Irving Berlin. In 1945, President Harry Truman awarded him the Army’s Medal of Merit. In 1955 he received the Congressional Gold Medal from President Eisenhower, and in 1977 he received the Freedom Medal from President Ford. Irving Berlin’s devotion to America was so eloquently expressed in the song that all Americans so frequently sing today: “God Bless America, Land that I love, Stand beside her, and guide her, through the night with the light from above. From the Mountains, to the prairies, to the oceans white with foam, God bless America – my home sweet home.”
It’s quite true that America was built by hard working people from all over the world who sought a place of freedom where they could succeed if they had a dream, worked hard, and no tyrannical king or dictator could keep them down. But the illegal immigrants today are not the same as those who built this country. They don’t want to leave their homes and become Americans, accepting all that comes along with it. Many of them just want to reap the rewards of our free nation without accepting American culture, the English language, and the rule of law.
Listen to the radio commentary here: