These arranged marriages had their failures, but they also had an overwhelming number of successes, and years later when Tim would attend thirty-, forty-, and fifty-year celebrations, he would shake his head over a glass of "Arraqh" and mutter, "Well, I never figured it would last."
The compassion, encouragement, and support of this Irish policeman and other kindly Americans motivated many of the early settlers to begin English language courses, and citizenship classes in night school, getting their first papers as quickly as was possible in spite of the long, hard hours spent at the daily jobs and businesses which supported their families
The New Citizen
Of the earliest generation, only a few remained aliens. Most of the immigrants eagerly grasped the privilege of the vote and embraced the responsibilities and obligations of citizenship with staunch good will. Children would drill their parents in the required questions and answers that would make them Americans. When a man or a woman passed the test and got the papers, the occasion signalled the start of another celebration. Friends and relatives would hurry over to spend the evening and toast the newly ordained citizen with a glass of "arraqh," that anise flavored, crystal clear liquid lightning reserved for the special occasions of baptisms, marriages and citizenship celebrations.
The new citizen would recite the Pledge of Allegiance for the edification of his guests and would slowly and proudly ennunciate careful English the Oath of Citizenship administered that day: "I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any prince, potentate, state or sovereignty. . ."
All would sigh with relief, that here now, rising out of the ashes of the suppressed and agonized beloved land, where for four hundred years men had lived out their days under the heel of foreign occupation, here now was an American, privileged to share with his fellow Americans the new country's bounty and protection.
And to vote? To speak his will over who would govern him? To choose his leaders out of conscience and without fear? Fazeha! What a momentous thing! What an awesome obligation was now this man's!