Letters to the Editor

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Hispanics add diversity to Carroll

Diversity. The definition of that word is mixture, multiplicity, assortment, range and variety. Our country is made up of a melting pot.

I live in a neighborhood that is vastly diversified, whether financially or ethnically. I live on Pennsylvania Avenue, where we treat each other with respect, no matter who you are.

People are talking about illegal immigrants here in Carroll County and in the United States. Not all immigrants are illegal in the United States. Most of those illegal immigrants take on jobs that are strenuous, backbreaking, laborious, exhausting and hard jobs that real Americans do not want to do, or that are beneath them.

If it weren't for immigrants, we wouldn't have the fruits or vegetables in our supermarkets or in our refrigerators and/or whatever job they have that you don't want.

Last I recall, when the Pilgrims came over on the Mayflower to this country, weren't they illegal? Did they ask the real Americans (the Native Americans) if they could conquer their land? Did they ask for a visa, a work permit?

No, they just came over and endured countless sacrifices for a better life than what they had in their country. If it weren't for our ancestors coming over to this country, whether it has been 30, 60, 100 years ago, I bet a lot of them were here illegally. But for their perseverance and struggle, they managed to stay here in the United States and raise a family of first-generation Americans and so on. How soon do we forget, if it wasn't for our ancestors coming here, where would we be living now?

I understand that we are living in different times from our ancestors. We are under attack from both sides of the border regarding terrorism, and we should have a better handle on illegal immigrants crossing the border, whether from the north or the south.

Not much is heard from our neighboring country, Canada, and all those coming in without proper paperwork. But a lot is heard from our southern neighbor, Mexico. Both countries have people flocking into this country for a better way of living.

I just want to make something clear to all who are reading this letter. I migrated to this country as an infant with my mother from the Dominican Republic. My mother did everything the proper way to be here legally.

There are a lot of Hispanics in Carroll County. The Puerto Ricans that live in our community are as American as any other American. They come in all shapes, sizes and colors. Their main language is Spanish, so if you hear someone speaking Spanish, please do not label them illegal immigrants.

This is a misconception of many Americans that all Spanish-speaking people are Mexicans. I am Hispanic and proud of my heritage, as I am proud to be an American citizen. I contribute and add diversity to my community as you do also. So next time when you come across someone different than you, say hello or smile; you just might get one back.

Josie Velazquez

Westminster

Springfield thanks holiday volunteers

Our 2004 holiday was a great success at Springfield Hospital Center, thanks to the many people in our community and the surrounding areas who shared the joy of giving so our patients could receive. With your help, the employees, along with many volunteers, worked together to ensure our patients experienced a very nice holiday.

The gifts were extremely nice, and everyone seemed to be in the spirit of giving this year. These things combined to make Dec. 25 a very special day for our patients.

We try throughout the year and during the holidays to provide for the needs of the patients, but this can only be accomplished when people like each of you are willing to share.

Again, many thanks. As we close out 2004, I hope that each of you had the best holiday ever and that 2005 will bring health, happiness, prosperity and your continued dedication to our patients. They need to know that someone cares.

Betty Jean Maus

The writer is director of Volunteer Services at Springfield Hospital Center.

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