Random Ramblings

What They Took With Them: An Independence Day Reminder

One of my coworker-friends recently passed her citizenship test. Her swearing-in ceremony is on Monday. Another coworker-friend was able to get his citizenship a few months ago. He just bought his first house.

I was born and raised in the United States, but according to Ancestry, only one percent of my DNA has roots in North America. The other 99% of my DNA…came from “somewhere else.”

I don’t know the circumstances that led to the immigration of my ancestors. I imagine it was terribly frightening to leave the country they knew behind, to cross an ocean, and make a life for themselves in America.

I saw a post on Twitter from author Neil Gaiman this morning. He did a powerful video back in September of 2016 for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. Here it is:

Unless your DNA is 100% Native America, and you live in the United States, your ancestors probably came from “somewhere else.” They may have come here voluntarily or not.

Today, on Independence Day, we celebrate the day “the Continental Congress declared that the thirteen American colonies regarded themselves as a new nation, the United States of America.” We go to BBQs and light fireworks. We spend time with our friends and family. But perhaps we can also take a moment to remember where we’ve come from and the people who are STILL dreaming of their own, personal Independence Day.

xo Juli

6 thoughts on “What They Took With Them: An Independence Day Reminder”

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