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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Liberty: 61 years, and counting …

Statue of Liberty National Monument, Ellis Isl...Image via Wikipedia
Read related » Remembrance in Spacetime: Liberty
“The displaced persons had boarded the General J. H. McRae (AP-149), an American Army transport, in early October 1949 at Bremerhaven on the north coast of General Eisenhower's American Occupation Zone. The North Atlantic was stormy that October, and its crossing took about two weeks. It was a nightmare.

At the end of the second week of the hellish crossing, the mother scored a jackpot. Though she was a seasick, kerchief-wearing refugee she was, nevertheless, a pretty young woman, and she charmed a ship's officer into giving her a single tablet of Dramamine. She shared it with her son on the deck of the General McRae. The father, as usual, bore his misery stoically. After swallowing the half-tablet, the child's queasiness lifted, as did the morning haze.

And there she was. With torch held high, she beckoned to the ship's human cargo as the General McRae steamed into New York Harbor. She was beautiful, just as they had imagined she would be.

It was United Nations Day in America: October 24, 1949. But it might as well have been the Fourth of July. For the immigrant survivors, it was, as we continued to celebrate it annually, our Day of Liberty.”
— TheBigHenry, MAY 25, 2007 (

Today marks the 61st anniversary of my arrival in America as a seven year-old boy, accompanied by my mother and father. My description (above) of our arrival in New York harbor is, to the best of my memory, an accurate recounting of that glorious day in 1949.

Post 1,459 Liberty: 61 years, and counting …
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