Thursday, March 18, 2010


One of the Crowd

The fountains ran green in my town this week. From shoreline to shoreline, in big city and small, Americans celebrated the Irish on St. Patrick’s Day.  As happens every March the seventeenth, toasts were made and parades were held, Yeats was quoted and misquoted. Danny Boy was wistfully sung in voices both in tune and out, and from the tiniest babe to the grey-haired amongst us, all wore a bit o’ green for the day.

One of the most remarkable things about the United States is that we are a nation of immigrants.  It is our most marked characteristic and what makes America unique.  For each of us has, somewhere in the upper branches of our family tree, someone who came here from another country, and while we share a fierce love of our United States, for each of us there is another homeland in our history, another flag that knew us when.   We cannot escape our geneology, not should we wish to.

It is said that America is a melting pot, and I personally have always loved that description. So many colourful seasonings from so many countries all mingling together make for an flavourful, one-of-a-kind concoction.  This myriad of amazing representatives from foreign shores has enriched our culture immeasurably, and continues to do so.   Our music, our cuisine, our literature, our spirit - take away one ingredient and this grand experiment called America would be so much the lesser for it.

 So La Paix, or Fois Scots, Saanti, Siochain, or Pax.
  Tonight I am happy to be but one of this crowd called America.

There are no strangers here; 
Only friends you haven’t yet met”.
William Butler Yeats

30 comments:

  1. Nice post Pamela but America is not unique in her mix of peoples, our arid continent of Australia has the same mix from all corners of the world. Oddly, even our aborigines came here form else where in the dream time and since the 18th. century and European settlement, we have become a box of chocolate all=sorts.

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  2. Dear Pamela, Although, sadly, I have never visited America, what you write here exactly matches my impression of a country whose people have roots stretching back to all corners of the globe. Such diversity is indeed to be welcomed.

    I loved your comment about Yeats, quoted and misquoted! And your picture today is especially appealing.

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  3. A nice thought Pamela...makes me homesick!
    Jeanne :)

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  4. A lovely take on St. Patrick's Day celebrations...

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  5. "May you have warm words on a cold evening,
    A full moon on a dark night,
    And the road downhill all the way to your door."

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  6. a wonderful tribute Pamela :)

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  7. This is beautiful, Pamela, and captures so well how I feel about America. Your quote from Yeats is grand! I love reading the comments of others, as well, especially on this melting pot topic from your very worldly readers.

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  8. St.
    Patty'sDay is always fun --if a bit wild in New York.
    We are all Irish for the day!

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  9. What a lovely post, so glad you had a good St Patricks day.
    X

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  10. I heard the tune of Danny Boy playing in shopping centres a few times yesterday. Glad you had a great St Patrick's day Pamela.

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  11. We always have a happy St. Patrick's day around our house. It's my youngest son's birthday. He was 26 yesterday. With his golden blonde hair, tall height and broad shoulders he looks as though he might have some Viking blood. Maybe we have some of Irish/Viking blood coursing through our veins.

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  12. I really like your lovely dog. And the blog.;-) Stina

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  13. Lovely post. Happy St. Patrick's day to you!

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  14. Lovely sentiments about your homeland Pamela...xv

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  15. When I lived on the West Coast of B.C. I spoke to a First Nations woman about her ancestors and how for as far back as she knew, her ancestors came from that area, that coastline, those mountains with the big cedars. And as a child of immigrants, I was jealous of this sense of connectedness she felt to that place. Somehow I always felt as if I was trespassing, but I don't feel that way here. Strange.

    Wonderful post. Made me think.

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  16. Being still not quite an American, but not the German I used to be, I feel first hand what you mean and
    it makes me happy to be a part of this wonderful experiment called America! To grow into this culture and still preserve my roots, to claim something larger for myself and to give from my heart to my new homeland!
    Here is to the Irish on their day!

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  17. Hi Pamela...I appreciate you and Edward thinking of me...still so sad and lonely here..not too good...but thanks you for the kind words....so thoughtful of you....

    sending love,
    kary

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  18. Greetings Pamela; Your post is a great tribute to how we as American's celebrate St. Patrick's Day here in the U.S.A. We are like a 'Mulligan's' stew, so to speak. I love March 17th because it's a day that even though you may not be Irish most everyone wishes they were for a slice of time. The Irish know how to work hard, and play hard & I love Celtic music. Happy weekend to you x

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  19. So glad to stop here (it's been ages; i've been writing (on paper) and not blogging but missing everyone, I'm back at it. Always enjoy seeing the artwork and (pet) photography here, too! Happy spring!

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  20. This is so lovely, Pamela. I like that description very much: a melting pot. I imagine a delicious stew.

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  21. A wonderful post! When I hear people saying about being british, I think, well who really is british, hardly anyone I imagine! I am an idealist perhaps, but I would love the whole world to become one big melting pot! As you say we can still celebrate customs etc., but why can't we all just live in harmony? that would be heaven on this earth! suzie. xxx

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  22. It's funny but, here in the U.K, we don't really celebrate St. Patrick's Day, (apart from the Irish amongst us, of course!).
    I thik that most countries are becoming multi-cultural, Pamela and it brings so much colour in so many ways, be it religion, music or traditions.
    We had a song here in the '60's/'70's called 'Melting Pot by Blue Mink.
    It's really long but the chorus went;
    What we need is a great big melting pot,
    Big enough, big enough, big enough to take the world and all it's got,
    And keep it stirring for a hundred years or more,
    And turn out coffee coloured people by the score.
    It has really great lyrics. XXXX

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  23. Hello P&E,

    Those developed countries in what we might call the New World have been a part of this pattern for centuries although, nowadays, the whole world is something of a melting pot. If we could all influence each other for the better, it would be a good thing.

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  24. I fully agree Pamela. We can all learn from each others cultures and backgrounds. America gave a home to millions in the past few centuries. My roots go back to Ireland on my dad's side and I can remember walking around the Strokestown Famine Museum in Ireland and being thoroughly ashamed of the English part of me. However, if that mass emigration to the USA had not happened America would be that much poorer.

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  25. I was in NYC earlier this week and St. Patrick’s Day was huge. The parade is always fun but the drunks turn me off the holiday.

    I do love how in the city and in your blog, diversity is a celebration. I’m from a melting pot family. Perfect Yeats quotation.

    Sorry to be so late to visit – I just got back home.

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  26. Very nice post....I like your "quoting and misquoting" comment!

    Thank you very much for your lovely comments on my blog this week, I really appreciate them.

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  27. this is a painting of a village fete in the Basque Country. It is at the Musée des Beaux arts in Bilbao.

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  28. A nice thought Pamela...makes me homesick!
    home jobs india

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  29. Happy Post Birthday that you share with my darling California daughter, Lise. Do hope your "petite vacance" was enjoyable.

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I love to read your comments! Each and every one! Though I'm always reading your comments, I may not respond in the comment section. If you want to write me directly, you may do so at pamela@pamelaterry.net. Thank you for reading!