Happy 4th to all of you who live in the US!
I know my country isn’t perfect. I have never been blind to the mistakes our country has made nor am I blind to our continuing problems with racism, sexism, homophobia, poverty, and violence. And I know, especially after traveling this summer, that people all over the world love their countries and are proud of their history, their culture, and their heritage despite the mistakes and problems of those countries.
But this is my home, and I am deeply grateful to my brave ancestors who had the courage to come here to seek a better life and freedom from oppression and prejudice and violence. I am so grateful to my immigrant ancestors: Hart Levy Cohen, Jacob Cohen and Rachel Jacobs, Bernard Seligman, John Nusbaum and Jeanette Dreyfuss, Gerson Katzenstein and Eva Goldschmidt, Isadore Schoenthal, Joseph and Bessie Brotman, and my grandfather Isadore Goldschlager, who came by himself as a teenage boy and walked across Romania to get to this country, leaving his parents and siblings behind. How can I ever take that for granted?
So today I say happy birthday to the United States of America and thank you for giving my ancestors a place of refuge and opportunity and a home for their children, their grandchildren, and all their descendants.