Letters to the Editor

Non-Ethnic Identity

Dear Editor: Are there any people out there who would like to celebrate their non-ethnic identity?

There are some of us who have been separated from benefit of identifying and celebrating the culture and ethnicity of our biological family. Although we might carry the last name of a parent that suggests where our ancestors might have hailed from, we missed the aspect of a culture that is frequently passed along and lived.

Having spent about four-and-a-half years in a Catholic institution staffed by religious sisters, the faith taught by example and instruction replaced the cultural identity I might have experienced with my biological family. Even though my Dad carried a middle name that suggested he was Irish, an 18-year separation prevented whatever ethnic and cultural connection I might have inherited.

Though I enjoy viewing the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and can even share in the Italian celebration of Columbus, because of my wife’s ethnicity, I don’t feel the joy and experience the event in quite the same way. In a quest to identify, I do have something to share with these two celebrities, and that is their Catholic faith.

The religion I share, the values of the Christian faith and the numerous cultures it includes have been my identity. I think this experience is similar to the experience of many Americans, who in many cases, have replaced the connection to their parents’ national origin with values that are American.

Instead of forming a new organization, let’s just celebrate the fact that we are Americans with faith-based values that are universal, values that unify and avoid division.

DONALD J. YOUNG

East Elmhurst

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