In the massive wave of immigration of the early part of the 20th Century, , people from all corners of the world flooded the United States – my great-grandfather included. My great-grandfather Wilhelm Braun came from Germany to America as a dirt-poor 20 year old man. He had only 20 dollars in his pockets – yet somehow he moved to St. Louis Missouri and opened a successful. His son, my grandfather (also named Wilhelm), grew up speaking both German and English proficiently. However, at the onset of World War II, my grandfather lost all his knowledge of German -- he set up a mental block of the language because of the beatings he would receive at school. I am ex...
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...their lives daily just to be able to have the opportunity to live in this great country. Because of my heritage and the success of my ancestors, I feel proud to call myself an American; without American acceptance, my forefathers could never have succeeded in their chosen fields, and I would thence have never had the life I am privileged to live. I also consider myself an American because America is the Land of Opportunity – and without the opportunities this country provides, a poor German could never have had the chance to marry royalty. As Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Governor of California and an immigrant himself, once said, “To think that a once scrawny boy from Austria could grow up to become Governor of California and stand in Madison Square Garden to speak on behalf of the President of the United States that is an immigrant's dream . . . the American dream”.
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