Imagine a lifetime in Haiti, through good times in childhood to bad times including the January 12th earthquake. Then imagine boarding your first airplane flight and traveling with two of your children to New York City, to be greeted by your sister and your mother whom you haven’t seen in decades, plus assorted relatives.
This is what happened on Thursday to my friend Mr. Lange Rosner. I spoke to him by telephone a few hours after he arrived in the United States. Amid the joyful sounds of a little dog barking and people laughing and talking the background, Mr Rosner told me, “This is a very, very beautiful city….This is not a dream.”
I am so happy that Mr. Rosner is here, though key members of his family weren’t granted exit visas. He had been trying to come to the United States for twelve years and the possibility that he would be coming was hard to believe in previous months, considering the terrible conditions in Haiti and the desire among untold thousands of people to leave the broken country. The fact that Mr. Rosner is here is a perfect story for this Fourth of July holiday weekend. How many of us, like myself whose grandmother hailed from Norway, are a generation or two away from being born and growing up in another country?
So celebrate, my good friend Mr. Rosner. You deserve all the magnificent times to come.