At the Statue of Liberty National Monument, a poem by Emma Lazarus is engraved on a tablet that was attached to the base of the statue in 1883. It is often quoted in reference to the United State's welcoming of immigrants into the country. In recent times, immigration has become a source of much discussion between political parties.
It is interesting to look back at that poem, and review a story of one who came to this country and the Tri-Cities 61 years ago.
The New Colossus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
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With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
Vivacious newcomer to Pasco tells impressions of America
Published on Sept. 4, 1949
By the Herald staff
"Of course I love America, and of course I love Pasco," declared attractive Mrs. Bernard Rogoway to her interviewer, adding that since she has been studying hard this summer to be ready for her quiz for citizenship papers she has learned to be appreciate America even more than ever.
"Your government is so well worked out," she said, "and your constitution. Your entire, what shall we call it...regime seems so perfect and adjustable to all conditions of people."
Mrs. Rogoway, who has lived in Pasco for the past six months applied last week for her citizenship papers, having completed her two years residence in the United States.
Pasco is the quiet end of the trail for the vivacious girl who was born Gertrude Schindler at Magdeburg, near Berlin. With her father and mother and her brother, after she was out of high school and business college, she fled Germany in 1939 to find refuge in Shanghai, "the only country that would take refugees without a visa."
In vivid manner Mrs. Rogoway described the six weeks boat trip from Germany to China. Embarking at Rotterdam in a pleasure boat on which a few other refugees were traveling, the Schindler family went to their new home the long way around, touching the coast of England, skirting France and Spain, past Gibraltar, and through the Mediterranean and the Suez Canal to the open sea again. Their eyes gazed upon the principal cities of India, on Singapore, Hong Kong, then up the east coast of China to Shanghai.
In Shanghai in 1945, with the coming of the first merchant marine, young Gertrude Schindler met romance in the person of Bernard Rogoway of Portland. In Shanghai they were married and in Shanghai the young wife waited until in 1947 transportation was arranged for her to come to the New World of her husband.
"Oh yes, I am enjoying it here," Mrs. Rogoway declared, and went on to compare the life of a housewife in America and in her homeland, Germany. "It is so simple here. The standard of living of the average person is very high compared with the average in my old country. Here we all have cars...comfortable apartments...beautifully equipped kitchens...
"Oh, when I think of my poor Mamma in Shanghai," and her face clouded, "such trouble to cook on those small, close to the floor Chinese stoves...and here...so simple...press a button. Poor Mamma!"
"I love to swim...I love the sun...so why shouldn't I love my first summer in Pasco," smiled Mrs. Rogoway, and her brown skin, almost as brown as her brown eyes and hair, gave weight to her assertion.
"Of American games, I think I like ping pong best. I love to play ping pong out in our back yard each evening with my husband," She also told of her fun the week she and her husband spent at a dude ranch at Joseph, Ore. "For the first time in my life I sit on a horse," she laughed, "and I enjoyed the experience." Mrs. Rogoway talks in a delicious broken Continental accent, cultured and fascinating to listen to.
"Do I miss Germany, and its beauty," she mused, "Well, of course Germany is beautiful...its wooded hills...and its river valleys. Nature is beautiful everywhere. It is beautiful here in America, but here you have, best of all, this wonderful freedom for your citizens..."
"I like your country...my country." then with a quick little laugh... "yes, I practically like everything."