On Nov. 22, 1922, one day before Thanksgiving, my father arrived in this country at Ellis Island. Like many others, he came to the U.S. as a refugee fleeing persecution and discrimination.
He left behind the pogroms and anti-Semitism of Eastern Europe in search of a better life. He was 18 years old, spoke no English and had only a few coins in his pocket.
My father served this country in World War II and remarked on several occasions that he never objected to paying taxes since Uncle Sam had been so good to him. My father was forever grateful to the U.S. for opening its doors to him, a Jewish immigrant that no other country would accept.
Now, on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, President Donald Trump slammed the door on refugees from war torn countries in the Middle East. People desperate to find freedom from persecution, to unite with their families and simply to be safe have been denied entry solely because of their religion.
My father died in 2002, but I am sure that today he could only shake his head and wonder what has become of the gracious and welcoming country he admired and loved.