Posted by: SJS | November 2, 2018

Hatred of immigrants is anti-American

Ed O’Neill, my mother’s older brother and my Godfather, was part of the Allied invasion of Normandy in 1944.  He lost half of his left leg thanks to the sharp eye of a Nazi sniper during the ferocious fighting as the units of the US Army pushed inland.  Growing up, I idolized Uncle Eddie–he was larger than life for me and my cousins.  Like my mother, he was the son of immigrants–one of countless brave young Americans who put their lives on the line in WWII.

Ed’s parents, my grandparents, came to the US from Ireland in the early years of the 20th century.  Barney and Nellie raised their family of eight children in the Olney section of Philadelphia.  In addition to Ed, the two youngest children in the family–Robert and Alfred–served in the US Armed forces in the immediate post-war years–Rob in the Navy and Al in the Army.  The contributions of the O’Neill family to the war effort and its aftermath were enormous.

I am sick to death of the anti-immigrant rhetoric that has flooded the airwaves over the past few months.  It is vile and toxic.  Immigrants, as well as those who have sought asylum in this country, are among its greatest strengths.  We are a nation of immigrants.  As the proud grandson and great grandson of immigrants, I hope that our nation will soon recover its moral compass as well as its historical memory.

Pictured above are my baptism day in 1951 at St. Helena’s Paraish in Philadelphia with Uncle Eddie, Father Smith, and my grandmother,, Mary Young Stahley (who served as a proxy for my Godmother, Aunt Miriam Keichline who lived in California), Eddie holding me at the party, and Eddie in uniform in 1944.

 

 


Responses

  1. Ed’s parents came here legally. I don’t think there would be so much dissension these days, if people followed the law.

  2. Good point, GP. Thanks.

  3. Your writing is like a breath of fresh air to me. I love reading your posts.

  4. Thanks very much, Carol. I appreciate your supportive words.


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