First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out — because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out — because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out — because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.
– Martin Niemöller (1892-1984)
Perhaps it’s time to pay attention to these words again. For “Socialists” read “Muslims”, for “Trade Unionists” read “Immigrants”.
Which of us knows who will be next? The time to speak out is now.
My second attempt at a photo prompt. Since it worked so well last time, I decided to write another vignette that can easily be converted into a scene in my WIP, The Winds of Morning. Kills two birds … (on the other hand, why kill them at all?) Enjoy!
As the small ship sailed into port, he heard his wife humming. It took him a moment to pick out the tune, but then John Patrick smiled and began to sing. His whiskey-flavored baritone seemed to float on the waves into shore.
The palm trees wave on high all along the fertile shore.
Adieu the hills of Kerry, I ne’er will see you more.
The hills of Ireland were so far away, but Savannah was right there before them. Warm and golden under the sun, with lush greenery and tall, tall trees. The city looked clean and crisp in the early morning light, and he hoped it would be better for them than Philadelphia.
Philadelphia – where every single “Help Wanted” sign said also “No Irish Need Apply.” Philadelphia — a putrid, reeking city where people threw their garbage out onto the streets and walkways, and unleashed hundreds of hogs to forage through it at night. He’d been disgusted, though Molly had said simply, “’Tis better than waste.” He’d agreed to a point, but he’d also heard her screeching like the fish-monger’s wife when some of that refuse landed on her good walking shoes.
His song continued, the words coming without thought. His heart was heavy and hopeful at once. Savannah would give them more than Philadelphia. How could it give them less?
If you’d like to hear The Kerry Hills in its entirety, you’ll find it here.
Ellis Island Immigration Station
15-year-old Annie Moore arrived from Ireland on January 1, 1892, and became the first person to enter the United States through Ellis Island.
Over 12 million people entered the United States through the Ellis Island immigration center from 1892 to 1954.
Contrary to what you may think, Ellis Island was only one of many ports of entry for ships; others on the east coast included Philadelphia, Boston and Baltimore.