Last year on the 4th of July I got an email from a mother of a student I taught a few years ago. The family had moved back to Peru but the mother still took the time to wish me Happy Freedom Day! in an e-card.
The family lived in our country for about 6 months, but left when their visa ran out. They were devastated to leave and I will never forget the look on the mother's face as she left our school for the last time. Yet, back home they were an upper-class family. They came to America for their children's future and education, but when they realized that their children could never go to college in America if they were illegal they went home, hoping to somehow come back legally one day.
No matter what your stand is on immigration, you have to admire the family's commitment to their children's education. My parents, (who I have no doubt love me very, very much), did not leave their respected jobs to go to a country where they did not speak the language, to became a day-laborer, for my education.
The mom volunteered in our school and worked hard to learn English. She was very involved with her kids work in the classroom. She was the type of mother we want all of our children to have.
I am blessed to teach so many families like this. They are dedicated to their children's futures, so much so that they were willing to put their own reputations and life-styles aside for their future goals. To me, that is the American Dream. Those are the kinds of people I want to consider my fellow citizens.
We are blessed to live in a country where, even those who were forced to leave it, still celebrate our 'Happy Freedom Day'.