Last night as I drove past the labor camp in Paul, Idaho, a feeling surged over me of how these people were what America is about, and what patriotism is about.
So, I returned. Even as I had passed the camp last night as I arrived in my hometown for the 4th of July, even so I passed back by it on my way back out of town tonight. I stopped, this time, looking for someone to talk to.
And, I spotted a young couple, teenagers, sitting on the lawn. I got out of my car and approached them, and the brief conversation went something like this:
"Are you from Mexico?" I asked.
"I am," replied the male.
"I just want to thank you, as my way of celebrating the Fourth of July, for coming to America and contributing to our economy," I said.
America is a melting pot of immigrants. Somewhere back there, each of us has an ancestor who came to this country. Many, such as those in the Paul labor camp, are not well to do. They are workers, hard workers. Is there a more meaningful way of building a nation than through sweat and hard work? The workers of America are what makes it great, the simple, common folk.
The Mini-Cassia area, where I grew up, has a large share of people from Mexico. We watched the parade while there, and a large number of those in it were Hispanic, some riding dancing horses, some marching for various causes.
I sat next to others of them.
All were welcome to me. I was grateful to be celebrating my Fourth with them, for they represent a lot of what is good about America.