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Monday, July 04, 2011

Tribute to Jefferson's Monticello - Immigrants Welcome

Americans celebrate 235 years of our Democracy this July 4th,  while we also take time to praise the vision, leadership and inspirational writings of Thomas Jefferson, our third US President and author of the Declaration of Independence.

Therefore, it's fitting for this innovative leader's beautiful home at Monticello Virginia to be the serene place where thousands of new Americans are sworn in as new US Citizens.

Monticello's brilliant designer's spirit are evident in the home's eloquent architecture and the beauty of the plantation's grounds. This special place Jefferson created for his home is aptly shared today by Americans on Independence Celebration Day, when, for the past 48 years, his home has welcomed new citizens into our nation, populated by immigrant ancestors.  After all,  the tribute is consistent with Thomas Jefferson's family roots, because he was the descendant of immigrants, having written briefly about them:
"'The tradition in my father's family,' he wrote in old age, 'was that their ancestor came to this country from Wales, and from near the mountain of Snowdon, the highest in Great Britain. I noted once a case from Wales, in the law reports,' he continued, 'where a person of our name was either plaintiff or defendant; and one of the same name was secretary to the Virginia Company . . . but the first particular information I have of any ancestor was of my grandfather, who lived at the place in Chesterfield called Ozborne's . . .'  Of his mother's illustrious family, the Randolphs, he was even more brief, noting only that his mother was the daughter of Isham Randolph, that she had married his father at the age of 19, and that her family could trace their pedigree 'far back in England and Scotland, to which," he wrote, "let every one ascribe the faith and merit he chooses'."

And to my own family, the Anselmi's, and Dini's of Italy; and to the Jubinsky's, and Halladay's of the Ukraine, many thanks for taking huge personal and financial risks to brave your way into New York's Harbor at Ellis Island, to contribute your energies to help build our immigrant nation.  

My family is equally grateful to Rose Anna Morin L'Heureux and her husband William L'Heureux, whose ancestors left the security of their French speaking homes in Quebec Canada to find economic security in New England.  My father-in-law William was a World War I Veteran.  My husband's uncle Napoleon Morin was a tragic victim of the Second Battle of the Marne, in France, during World War I.

All of our immigrant ancestors are American heroes, no less brave or visionary than Thomas Jefferson, whose home pays tribute to every one of them, this Independence Day, July 4th , 2011.  



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