CELEBRATING AMERICA’S LEGACY A NATION BUILT BY IMMIGRANTS
I n 27 years of practicing law, I’ve been privileged to work with clients from literally all over the world, from Asia, Africa, Europe, and South America to places as mysterious and exotic as California and New York. They come from dozens of countries and even more industries. In addition to needing a really good lawyer, they all have one thing in common — they are all Americans. Whether here by birth or by choice, they all believe in the American way and dream the American dream. “I AM CONVINCED THAT MEN HATE EACH OTHER BECAUSE THEY FEAR EACH OTHER. THEY FEAR EACH OTHER BECAUSE THEY DON’T KNOW EACH OTHER. THEY DON’T KNOW EACH OTHER BECAUSE THEY DON’T COMMUNICATE WITH EACH OTHER, AND THEY DON’T COMMUNICATE WITH EACH OTHER BECAUSE THEY ARE SEPARATED FROM EACH OTHER.”
and watch the same movies in the same theaters. We rise or fall together.
Whether our ancestors came over on the Mayflower or an Airbus 747, America is and always has been a nation of immigrants. And despite much of the rhetoric coming out of Washington these days, that is precisely what makes America great. Being at least fifth generation on both sides, my own family has been here a long time. My mom’s folks immigrated from Ireland in the 1840s. No one knows when or from where my dad’s side arrived, but they lived in Indian territory long before it became Oklahoma. My wife is Australian. My step-father’s parents were from Czechoslovakia. My sister-in-law’s family is from Mexico. My future son-in-law is from Albania and, other than being a Patriot’s fan, I couldn’t ask for a better man for my daughter. My family is certainly not unique, but we are thankful, both for our own heritage and for that of the many immigrants who made America and the world great. The list could go on forever, but consider just these few. • Alexander Hamilton. Though all of the founding fathers were born in British colonies, Hamilton grew up on the tiny Caribbean island of Nevis, which never was or would be a part of the USA. • Albert Einstein (Germany), Enrico Fermi (Italy), I.M. Pei (China), John Muir (Scotland), Joseph Pulitzer (Austria), Levi Strauss (Bavaria), John James Audubon (Haiti — yes, that Haiti!) • Alfred Hitchcock (England), Irving Berlin (Russia), Oscar de la Renta (Dominican Republic), Liz Claiborne (Belgium, first company founded by a woman to crack the Fortune 500), • eBay founder Pierre Omidyar (France) • Yahoo! co-founder Jerry Yang (Taiwan) • Sun Microsystems co-founder, Vinod Khosla (India) • Google co-founder Sergey Brin (USSR) • YouTube founders Steve Chen (Taiwan) and Jawed Karim (East Germany)
–MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.
From this rich diversity of clients, I have learned much, but perhaps most importantly, we are all fundamentally the same. Regardless of race, color, religion, political affiliation, or country of origin, we all worry about the same big-ticket items: making ends meet; protecting our loved ones; raising happy, healthy, productive children; enjoying time with friends and family; and leaving our country and the world a better place than we found them. Whether we worship on Sunday mornings, Friday nights, or not at all, we all root for the same sports teams, complain about the same traffic, eat at the same restaurants,
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