Note: This was originally a LinkedIn post on August 1, 2021.
Today, August 1, is the 37th anniversary of my family moving to the United States from Athens, Greece.
Picking up and moving to a new country is such a big change. As an adult now, I can hardly imagine doing it! And while I know it wasn’t an easy transition, I’m grateful to my parents for deciding to go ahead with it, given the opportunities that were made available to us all.
Thanks to that move 37 years ago, I’ve met countless friends and colleagues and made hundreds of memories. The educational and professional opportunities have been unmatched. And about 20 years ago I became a naturalized citizen so I could vote.
I firmly believe our country is stronger thanks to immigrants. From the migrant farmer who picks your produce to the medical researcher finding a cure for your disease, immigrants have been a cornerstone of the development of the United States.
I’ve yet to meet an immigrant who doesn’t want to leave this country in a state better than they found it. They’re bought into this country, warts and all, and they don’t want to take what is here for granted.
Next time you see someone with an unusual last name or an interesting accent, politely ask them where they or their families hail from. And remember that, regardless of citizenship, if that person is choosing to be here, at some level they’re American, too.