Thursday, January 10, 2008
THE AMERICAN DREAM
Today is the 28th Anniversary of my family arriving in America. My husband sent me flowers and also special ordered the above red, white and blue cake with the words "Welcome to America". (I teased CP that he would not miss an opportunity to eat cake.) As a tradition since 1989 when I moved to Michigan, I called to say Happy Anniversary to my family. We talked about the day we arrived, January 10, 1980 and all the funny things we did along the way from "fresh off the boat" Vietnamese refugees to becoming Americanized.
Last year, both my brother (Qaptain Qwerty) and I wrote about our arrival in New York City in the entries on our 27th Anniversary. We both wrote about the first few days at Uncle PL's house. I thought perhaps I could go to JFK airport and take photo of the escalator that we were so afraid to get on. But with the security level, I would be suspicious unless I could tell our story when we as Vietnamese refugees, saw the escalator for the first time.
28 years later, did we achieve the American Dream? Compared to some people, we did. We have achieved the level of comfortable living, earned college education, being homeowners, professional employment, and most of all, watching my nephew growing up in a country with plenty of opportunities to achieve more and become better than previous generations. Compared to others, we are not millionaires, nor owners of international companies, not well-known politicians or leaders, not movie stars or even contestant on American Idols!
We have achieved the American Dream in our own way. There are still other levels we could try to reach. I am thankful for all the people who have provided assistance, extended friendship and helping hands. I know my Dad is smiling and saying, "Good work", as our family celebrate our 28th Anniversary of coming to America. To my Dad, the foundation and the guiding light, Happy Anniversary. I sure hope there is plenty of chocolate ice cream in heaven for you to enjoy, Dad.