What a gorgeous Southern Arizona day!! It began with much wind that became a deluge of rain, followed by a blue sky and sunshine in the mid and late afternoon! This was the gorgeous day on which we celebrated – with Mansfeld Middle School – Arizona’s Centennial. With 200 middle school students, their teachers and school staff and with guests of Citizenship Counts all gathered in the school cafeteria/auditorium, the school chorus sweetly sang the National Anthem.
Paul Eckstein spoke about Arizona’s early history, about seven immigrants who were delegates to the Arizona Constitutional Convention in 1910 and about the opportunities American citizens, including our young people, continue to have in this country. Gerda Weissman Klein spoke about her life and her love for America. John Eckstein talked with the students about their rare opportunity to hear Gerda speak and what an inspiration she can be for their lives. He said that Gerda is a hero because of what she has done with her life. The students, who had been carefully prepared by their social studies teachers, listened quietly and applauded and cheered for the adult speakers and for their peers, who read their essays and poetry about Arizona and about being good citizens now and in the future. It was a wonderful and inspiring afternoon, and we are very grateful to the principal, teachers and staff at Mansfeld Middle School for collaborating with us.
Happy Birthday, Arizona! Your future is in the hands of our young people who we must educate to understand that we are a nation of immigrants and that we all have a responsibility to be good citizens, appreciate our freedoms and opportunities and help each other by doing good works in our communities.