The Language of Thanks
I am very thankful for the right to hold and to express my personal beliefs and opinions. At the Thanksgiving dinner held at my brother-in-law's house this year, my wife's two nieces each made clear that, if either were ever to come into power, such a freedom of expression would be strictly limited to those beliefs, opinions and viewpoints that are consistent with their own, to the exclusion of all other perspectives. I, on the other hand, made it clear that they would not be able to abridge my freedom of expression without a fight (to the chagrin of my host and hostess). Perhaps if I am lucky, those two young ladies will continue to not speak with me for some time to come.
One of the seasonally news stories making the media rounds this Thanksgiving was the meeting between Sara Marmurek and Wladyslaw Misiuna at JFK Airport. Wladyslaw saved Sara's life from the ravages of the Nazis, and we heard the Thanksgiving "human interest story" of Sara the grateful Holocaust survivor once in just about every 10-minute news cycle as we traveled and tried to ascertain the traffic conditions. The story of the reunion between the two has even gone international.
But listen to the audio-video clip. Note that Sara is an immigrant to America! Note that her original language was Polish! Note that the Polish language has less in common with English than some other languages, including the one spoken directly south of the United States's southern border. And, most significantly, note that Sara can speak English!
If Sara can learn English and become a functional American, why can't all these other people learn English?