From The Pastor’s Desk

In the early 1900s, many European families moved from their European countries to the United States. Immigrants from places like Italy, Ireland, Holland, Belgium, Germany and Bohemia. They left behind the only life they knew to establish a new life in a promising country without nobility, titles and class rules. My grandfather came first to the United States, worked, saved his money and sent for my grandmother.

Those millions of immigrants helped to build up our country and prepare it for the two world wars which occurred. They brought their talents and work ethic to build their new lives. I have often wondered what our country would be like today without that migration of all those immigrants. I have also wondered if I would even exist since my grandparents were of different classes and not able to marry in Bohemia.

The immigrants came for many reasons: a better future for their families, jobs, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, away from all the political strife between the royal families that were trying to hold on to their power, simply away from the violence of the wars. All of those immigrants changed our country. Being a student of history, we know many felt the Irish and the Italians should not be allowed on our shores.

Now in the year 2019, our country, our government is facing the same type of issues, immigrants coming by the millions from Mexico and South America. Why are they coming, flowing across our borders? They are coming for the same reasons the immigrants our ancestors came at the beginning of the last century: a better future for their families, jobs, freedoms, to escape violence coming from the drug cartels.

As in the past, many are saying no, we do not want them. Keep them out, arrest them, build a wall and send them back. While it is impossible to know exactly what the Great Wall of China cost to build, modern calculations estimate the cost to be approximately $360 billion. The wall is 4,160 miles from end to end. The Great Wall of China is the longest man-made structure in the world, and construction began between 260 and 210 B.C. reports that more than one million people died due to accidents during construction.

No society could sustain such a terrible burden. Taxation became heavier and heavier. Some 3,500,000 are estimated to have been involved in the building of the Great Wall. That was 70% of the total population of China at that time. For each worker working on the wall 6 were required to feed and support them. Construction of the wall became the most hated imperial project in Chinese history. In 209 B.C., millions of peasants rose up and ended the tyranny and bloodshed of the building of the wall. It brought down that government and within 10 years much of the wall was a neglected ruin. Will humanity ever learn from our past mistakes?