Thoughts on July 4th

I’m supposed to be resting. I recently got out the hospital, after being there for 5 days. Something happened to my back and I was on the floor in my apartment, virtually paralyzed. I couldn’t move. A locksmith had to come to make my apartment accessible to EMS.

During my visit, I was taken care of by people of all nationalities. Nurse Lee, who spoke with an accent, but still got all my jokes. Carmen, who watched over me in the ER when I was being treated poorly. The diversity was amazing.

And then there was the doctor whose first name was Aziz, who turned everything around for me with his kindness, wisdom, and patience. He told me to forget about the ER doctor (middle-age white guy) who treated me horribly. (Yes, I did tell that doctor that he was intolerant, and then made sure everybody in the hospital knew about his demeanor.)

Dr. Aziz told me that I just had to focus on getting better. Through him, I was able to regain trust in the medical staff.

When I wasn’t buzzed out on heavy-duty pain meds, I had plenty of time to think.

I recently did a piece of art called, “My Grandparents Were Immigrants.”

My father is a first generation American. Under Trump’s and Kelly’s criteria, his father wouldn’t have made it in to the USA. He walked from Russia (Would that help?) to England, where he took a boat to New York City. He had no education. He opened a grocery store in Baltimore.

But (and this is “It’s A Wonderful Life” moment) if he hadn’t made it to the USA and married my Grandmother (from Latvia), my father would not have been born. He wouldn’t have been a Major in the U.S. Army-AirForce in WWII, fighting for Democracy.

So on July 4, I wish a happy holiday to all those people who are contributing to making America great, because we are all descended from immigrants (except Native Americans and those brought to our shores in chains). We are all contributing to this country in the best way that we can.

Despite the whole national situation looking dismal, I will not give up hope that the #Resistance can turn this thing around. We may not have had the fortitude as a country when our Japanese citizens were put in internment camps, but enough of us have learned from that and WWII, and the horrific genocides that have since happened.

I believe in an America where people refuse to be silent. We will not be like the Germany citizens who said, “I had no idea what was going on.”

We will resist and we will prevail.

My grandfather didn’t walk from Russia to London for nothing.


Major Elliott Yerman; China Burma India patch from 1940s

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