An American Wedding
This is America, the land I was born in, the country I love, with its ever shifting traditions as the current inhabitants meeting newcomers. At our best, we welcome newcomers and add their traditions to our own. At our worst we build walls and battle between different groups.
I write this sitting in a hotel in New Market, Virginia, on my way back from my niece's wedding. New Market was a battlefield in the Civil War. My niece's ancestry includes English and French that fled religious persecution in the 1600s. It includes Irish ancestors fleeing famine and seeking a better life.
This weekend, she married a young man from India that she had met in college. On Saturday, there was a Christian Wedding. I've been to many Christian Weddings and this one was a beautiful as so many others that I've been to.
Today, I experienced something very new and different to me. My new nephew-in-law arrive and a Hindu community center to celebrate his marriage to my niece. We threw rose petals as he arrived, we ate nuts, fruits and nougat. There were many other symbolic events in the ceremony, many which I probably missed.
Yet what was most important to me was seeing what I believe makes America strong, the celebration of people of different backgrounds coming together to love and serve one another.