Thursday, February 1, 2007

Grandmother's 107th Birthday party

My wife and I just returned from attending my grandmother's (Assunta Vitali) birthday party in Philadelphia over the weekend. It was a glorious reunion of all of the family members gathered to pay RESPECT and show our love and admiration. She has 113 living descendants with more on their way.

It's quite extraordinary when you think about everything she has witnessed over her expansive life time; invention of the Model T cars, planes, TV, Radio, along with living through the depression, prohibiting, WW1, WW2, Korean War, Vietnam War, Persian Gulf War, and now the Iraq War.

To put it in better perspective, here's a list of 16 different presidents that have presided over our country during her life time and hopefully, she will add one more after next year's election. Woodrow Wilson, Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, John F Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard M Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Regan , George Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush .

Her husband, my grandfather passed away at the age of 104 and was no spring chicken himself at the time of his demise. In 1921 my grandfather, Bernado had been living in Philadelphia having immigrated from Italy two years earlier. I'm told that he was excited waiting for his beautiful bride to be, to arrive from Italy. He didn't know her, but as was the custom in Europe back then, the marriages were pre-arranged between the families. They loved each other their entire lives and produced five RESPECTFUL children who are all still alive and healthy today, one being my own dad, Joseph.

During the early immigration days in the 20's, every immigrant's goal was living the American dream in this great country of ours. One of the differences then compared to the immigrants of today is that back then, all children were encouraged to study and learn the English language. It was part of being RESPECTFUL as well as developing a major tool, (language) to work in America in order to survive.

Think about this: My grandparents didn't speak English when they arrived in America and only my grandfather picked up a few phrases over the 85 years he lived here. My grandmother still to this day only speaks Italian. Like all immigrants of that era moving to America, they lived in a area that was dominantly Italian (Little Italy) and didn't learn English.

But here's the irony. They didn't allow their five children to speak Italian in the household ever. So the children never spoke Italian and their parents never spoke English. They wanted the best for their children and made sure they would only speak English. Out of RESPECT, that's what the children did. You see, we are of Italian heritage where RESPECT is a major deal; respect for our families and respect for our country. That has been ingrained in all of the 113 descendants.

We live in a different world.

Nationalism was revered and emphasized during my grandparents day. Honoring their new country wasn't forced upon them or any of the millions of other immigrants from all different backgrounds, but gratefully done so out of respect for being able to live their dream.

On Friday, 15 of our family members visited Washington, DC taking in the historic sites. Washington reminds me a little of Rome with all the grand architecture displayed in our capital and all of us enjoyed our time there. While we were visiting the sites, the city was preparing for the anti-war or anti-Bush demonstrations that were going to be held the next day with Jane Fonda heading up the so called peace rally.

At the peace rally, a US wounded service men attempted to plead his nationalism, his pride for serving America in the Iraq war and even though he lost a leg, he respected Bush as well as our efforts in the war. The peace rally turned vicious on him. They called him names like, baby killer and yelled at him to go back to Iraq and kill more babies. They spit in his face, gave him the finger and a large portion of the crowd attempted to harm him physically until the police stepped between them. The peace loving crowd was in a uproar to do this American hero harm.

There are many reasons why times have changed so drastically over the last 100 years.
Nationalism has disappeared because of many factors.

Our educational system shares the blame to why we as citizens, no longer hold our country, the US in a positive light the same way our fathers once viewed our nation. Our tenured teachers, having to behold to no one to keep their jobs, slant our children in the direction that America is evil in every action the country takes in order to protect itself. Some universities have even gone as far as forbidding the flying of US flags on their campuses because it offends foreigners. Imagine this policy in any other country in the world.

Our history books no longer celebrate our history and its founders. George Washington is even looked down on because he kept slaves. This of course, to any rational person is insane, to judge our forefathers by today's standards. America at its height of slavery had less than 5% of the world slaves. In other words the entire world engaged in slavery. We don't condemn the entire world, just America, and more specifically, the south.

The media is also responsible for the decline of nationalism. The left wing, biased reporters search and destroy any political representatives that don't agree with their way of thinking. In a bygone era, Presidents' Jack Kennedy's indiscretions with multiple women were kept out of the press as were Martin Luther King's tendencies to bed two women at a time. The two men were heroes in America and were treated thus by the media; find faults if you could about what they represented, but keep their personal lives out of the public. Now, all hell has broken loose. Even Barak Obama is feeling the heat from Hillary's war camp about where he attended the 4th grade.

And lastly, Hollywood is also responsible for the decline of how our country is viewed worldwide and especially here in America. Name one pro-US film. It's quite difficult, isn't it? I believe I just read somewhere that Hollywood has produced 35 anti-America recently. The world judges us by our movies. Most of the world even attempts to learn the English language from our films. No wonder they think our CIA, FBI and gov't are corrupt.

We live in a different world.

Civil rights are held in higher esteem than one's human rights (the right to live). Hating your country and it's conservative leaders are a requirement if you are enlisted in the Left Party.There is universal celebrations throughout the Democratic party only when the country's economy is suffering or when Americans are being beheaded in Iraq. Anything that is negative in our country moves the left one inch closer to inserting in one of their own into the White House at any cost. Our government's ability to run covert wire surveillance from Muslim chatter abroad will now most likely be compromised by the left now that they control Congress.

Christians are considered the enemy in America to many on the left, while all Muslims, fanatical or not must be accepted on face value, no questions asked, or risk the likelihood of being condemned publicly.

We live in a different world.

Again, happy birthday, grandmother.

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