The American Dream
My brother Tom drank their Coca-Cola, squirreled away their gifted candy bars, he would run their errands and he would get “thank yous” and quarters from the American GIs in occupied Seoul. He was their gopher pet and they would tell him of the world of Milk and Honey, of Toys and Candy. Tom looked around at the hell that he called home, the occupied city of Seoul….a city of hunger, of need, of not enough or not any, a city that hated us for the sins of our mother, for Tom and I were only half Korean…the other half was American GI. Tom would hold me tight as he carried me in the streets, people of our city would throw rocks and garbage at us.
Our mother let us go…an act of desperation, of selfishness and of selflessness.
This is how I came to America in 1956.
We were adopted by our new parents Ben and Phyllis Kerns, loved and cherished…nurtured and comforted..we were greeted with their open arms. Certainly, there were mean people that pointed out our almond eyes and jet black hair…but the US Government protected us, gave us public schools for education…vaccinations against sickness…gifted us the hopes and dreams of a future.
I can not be silent in this wretched new chapter of America. We are a country of immigrants, we gained our strength through hybrid vigor and the power of love.