Another anniversary of the April 1961 Bay of Pigs story and more reasons to remember our parents. Our father passed away a few years so I can only remember all of those wonderful conversations we had about Cuba. I did call my mother and said hello. She is 90, sharp “como un cuchillo” and looking forward to 91 in May.
From the very beginning, the US has been a nation of immigrants. In other words, we are one big “melting pot” of people who came here, settled into their new culture and built this land.
We remember the Bay of Pigs every year because of our parents. Some of them served in the Brigade. Others, like in the case of my father’s cousin, were arrested around the time of the invasion and sent to Isla de Pinos.
Our experience is unique because our parents never planned to come to the US. Most of them were happy in Cuba and never entertained the thought of leaving their homeland and pursuing a better life.
Nevertheless, our parents left Cuba to give their kids a chance to grow up in a free country. As I’ve said before, our parents saw communism “eye to eye” and concluded that their kids deserved something better.
Most of us have been here months, years and some like me arrived here in 1964. We’ve grown up in the US and Americanized ourselves like previous immigrants. We feel pride on July 4th and pain on Memorial Day. We eat hot dogs on Labor Day and get together on Thanksgiving.
Yet, we remember Cuba because that’s something that our parents always loved talking about.