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Thank you and Happy 245th Birthday, America!

June 30, 2021

Thank You, America!

by Alice Jane-Marie Massa

Thank you, America,

for welcoming to your eastern shore,

in the early 1900s,

four immigrants from Italy–

later to become

the parents of my parents

and good citizens of the adopted,

the chosen country–


Thank you, Lady Liberty,

for holding high your torch

to light the way

to Ellis Island,

where my grandparents’ dreams

first met  land of the USA.

Thank you, Indiana,

for giving my paternal grandparents

some of your precious farmland–

a grape arbor, too.

Thank you, Indiana,

for allowing my maternal grandparents

to build a grocery store and Italian bakery

in your Vermillion County.

Thank you, Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini,

for blessing these four immigrants

from Italy to Indiana,

with a safe voyage,

with seven sons

and five daughters,

with eighteen grandchildren–

all of whom went on to do well

in this new home of our immigrant forefathers.

From the banks of the Wabash

to the shores of Lake Michigan,

from the foothills of the Rockies to Disneyland,

from the shores of the Atlantic to the Pacific Northwest–

all the relatives

of those first four immigrants

of our family tree

wink at you, Lady Liberty,

and wave our thanks

in red, white, and blue wishes

for a Happy Fourth of July!

* * *

NOTE:  Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini is one of the patron saints of immigrants.

Best wishes to you and your family

for a safe, sunny, and very Happy Fourth of July!

Alice and Leader Dog Willow

June 30, 2021, Wednesday


From → Uncategorized

  1. Susan M. McKendry permalink

    Happy 4th of July to you and Willow, Alice. Thanks for this beautiful poem with its images of the Statue of Liberty and mention of the other St. Francis. I like how you mention where the descendants have settled. Always enjoy reading about your family roots.–Sue

    • Hi, Sue–Thank you for taking the time to send such a nice comment!  I was so glad to talk with you last evening, and we send many good wishes your way for this month of July.

      Take good care, and enjoy the Fourth of July weekend!

      Alice and Willow

  2. mfanyo permalink

    Such a wonderful poem, Alice! It touches each and every member of our family, all of whom are greatly blessed!
    Happy Independence Day to you and Willow!

    • Hello, Mary–Many thanks for your nice comment on this family poem!  I hope that you and your Colorado grandkids will enjoy the Fourth of July Parade and celebration.

      Enjoy riding in the parade!

      Alice and Willow

  3. I send you my best greetings for this Fourth of July, 2021. I enjoyed your post about your own family history in this country we love. We have so much to be thankful for their vision and their courage in leaving their homeland to travel so far away to a new country. We are blessed to their offspring.

    • Hi, Lynda–Special thanks to you for reading this post, sharing your nice comment, and giving the post a “like.”  I am always glad to hear from you and hope that you and your family enjoy a very Happy Fourth.

      Take good care, and enjoy your lovely gardens–Alice and Willow

  4. Reblogged this on My Corner and commented:
    To commemorate Independence Day, July 4th, here in the United States, I’m sharing fellow blogger Alice Massa’s poem, expressing gratitude for her family’s ability to immigrate to this country during the earlier part of the 20th century. Since most U.S. citizens, if not all, are descended from immigrants, I can’t think of a better way to show patriotism. If you live in my country, have a safe and happy Fourth of July.

  5. Carole permalink

    Yes, thanks, Alice, for your beautiful poem! Your honoring and paying tribute to our families who immigrated are even more appropriate and appreciated in today’s turbulent times. I am thankful to have visited Ellis Island to better understand what they had endured in coming to America and upon their arrival.


    • Hi, Carole–Thanks for the “like” and comment on this poetry post!  Besides going to Ellis Island, how wonderful that you and Tim had the opportunity to visit Levone, the small town in Northern Italy where our mutual grandparents, as well as my paternal grandparrents, were born and lived before immigrating to the United States, to Indiana!

      Enjoy July!

      Warmest wishes–A & W

  6. Anna Dixon permalink

    Alice – Thank you for that lovely poem commemorating the journey of our ancestors and the hope that we all need to find again. I happened upon your blog while researching our common ancestry. I was reluctant to reach out but this particular post inspired me.

    My great-grandmother was Marianna, your grandfather’s sister. I am told that she came to America to help care for his children. I was named for her, but, sadly I never really knew her. My grandmother was her only daughter, Mary. My mother, Andrea, remembers you fondly from your visits to Livingston, Illinois in your childhood.

    There are so many stories that I wish I had paid more attention to before now, but sadly they may be lost to time. Perhaps in reading more of your posts, I will be able to find some details to help piece together my family’s past. Thank you for sharing your musings and memories with all of us! I look forward to reading more of them!

    Marianna Dixon

    • Hello, Anna–My very special thanks to you for reaching out to me via my blog! Thank you so very much for reading this poem which has re-connected our families. Please send me a private e-mail at:
      Sometimes, on these especially hot days, I think of visiting Livingston in those days before air conditioning. I can still picture your great-grandmother, whom we only called by the word for aunt in Italian, as she stood in her kitchen behind the grocery store. Like you, I often wish I had asked more questions of my older relatives. Preserving family history is an important part of my writing. Please keep in touch.
      With thanks and warm wishes to you and your family,
      Alice and Leader Dog Willow

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