I couldn’t help but be impressed by Gena Corea’s perspective on immigrant versus pilgrim.

As an immigrant myself, arriving on a boat with my family shortly after WWII, my father had the designation of Mischling Eins (half breed of the first degree) as a Jew under Hitler. We left behind our relatives in mass graves having been exterminated in concentration camps. I can attest to the truth of Ms. Corea’s statement that America is a “place of refuge from persecution and violence; a place of safety where they can build a life of dignity in freedom.” 

Arriving in America we were greeted with derision and scorn by some – the torture survived under the Nazis not apparent on the surface. 

I will begin now challenging my thoughts on my identity. Immigrant? Pilgrim? Thank you, Gena Corea! 

Birgitta Kuehn

Kuehn is a member of the town’s planning board.

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