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Immigrants remind us of America’s glory

During Jonesborough Days, there was a little-known event put on by the Jonesborough Flag Committee that reminded those who attended of the greatness of America.   
It was awesome as three first-generation immigrants, now U.S. citizens, shared their stories of coming to America, and life before.
Helga Denton arrived in America from Germany in the late 1950s. She noted that America is held together by three things: its Constitution, its freedom and opportunity, and its generosity.   
She talked of her time in Germany at the end of World War II. Berlin was demolished from bombing and divided between Russia and the U.S.  Russia cut off all transportation routes to force the West Berliners into capitulating and joining them.   
In response, Helga described how American cargo planes loaded with food, clothing and other necessities flew into Berlin three minutes apart 24/7 for a year until Russia gave in. She said because of the Marshall Plan, “America had beat Russia without firing a shot” and West Berlin remained free. She told of American pilots throwing candy out the windows for kids as they flew. 
She told of the process of becoming a citizen, with interviews, tests, the travel from place to place to accommodate the requirements of the process which was tough but fair.
In the end, after they were sworn in, these new citizens were told they were Americans – NOT hyphenated Americans – but fully Americans. She claims that today.    
Angus and Brownie Walton are originally from Scotland. Angus talked about his arrival in the U.S. in Wisconsin and related some stories about their first days. 
He then told of a personal study he conducted about the American flag. He noted that in other countries, the flags are nicely designed but not flown nearly as often as the American flag. Then he wondered what do Alaska and Miami have in common? How can they relate to each other? What holds them together?
He concluded the American flag was the common element that held this country together. He noted its 13 stripes remind us of the 13 colonies which came together to form a union. 
Its 50 stars held together in a blue square remind us of the individuality of the 50 states which are united as one. 
Further, he concluded, our flag is a celebration of our history and our unity as a nation. 
Therefore, we do see it everywhere because it represents our common bond, our strength.  
Ignaci Fonberg was born in Poland in 1938, one year before Hitler invaded and ravished his country. 
He reinforced what Helga and Angus presented and added that life in Poland during and after the war was so demanding and undemocratic that when he saw America, it  was a shock and pretty much unbelievable.  
Hearing our first generation Americans talk about coming to America is refreshing. They have seen what the world would look like without America, and the good America does worldwide. 
To them, our flag and our country represent a dream come true, a life renewed. 
It is why we should stop and stand with respect and honor when the flag passes our way and remember we are blessed to live in the greatest country in the world.   
A big thank you to the Jonesborough Flag Committee.