Learning English would show respect for the United States

As our wonderful and joyous Fourth of July celebration approaches, I want to say a word to those not-yet Americans, documented or undocumented. You are here because of what this country has to offer you; freedom as well as free things, and help to those who are here to work and make a better life for themselves.

The opportunity of a free education for your children and all other chances for a good life are right here. Otherwise why would so many people strive to come to this country? Americans, you have found, are a welcoming and generous people.

Everyone knows that with privilege comes responsibilities: to obey the laws is certainly one of the foremost. I want to add this: learn to speak English. Show the courtesy and respect this country deserves in return for all it gives to you. Do not make believe that you don’t speak any words of English, thereby refusing to communicate with us. This is insulting.

I guess if I made the laws, they would require the learning of basic English communication. Keep your own language alive at home, of course. Teach the children all the holidays and feasts of celebrations of their background.

Nobody says that you should get rid of your own language and ethnic identity, but the language of this country started out as and still is English. To learn English is a way of saying, “Thank you for all this. We are lucky to be here.”

Consider this as we gather together all over the land to celebrate our gratitude that we live in this United States of America.

June Vawter Freehold Borough