In New York City, world's tragedies always hit home
Apr 13, 2010 | 3201 views | 0 0 comments | 50 50 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Photo by Michael Ragsdale - For more photos click <a href="http://hubpages.com/hub/A-POLISH-NEW-YORK-CITY-COMMUNITY-IN-MOURNING-A-PHOTO-ESSAY" targhert="new">here</a>.
Photo by Michael Ragsdale - For more photos click here.
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The United States is called a “Melting Pot” for a reason. People from cultures throughout the world come to our shores and integrate into the rich fabric that is life in America. They come to this country from various reasons, but all are looking for a fresh start and a chance to seize opportunity and make a better life for them and their family.

That said, they never truly leave their roots behind. Part of them will always be Greek or Peruvian or Iranian – wherever it is they come from. And New York City is perhaps unique in that we allow immigrants from other countries to celebrate the cultures of their homeland. We revel in the fact that we can experience the world without ever leaving the five boroughs.

We publish papers throughout Queens and Brooklyn, and are lucky enough to experience this firsthand. We publish articles on the Irish community in Woodside, the Chinese community in Flushing, and the Polish community in Greenpoint, and right now, that community is in mourning.

Over the weekend, a plane carrying the Polish president, Lech Kaczynski, his wife, and dozens of dignitaries crashed on its way to a memorial commemorating one of Poland's greatest national traumas – the massacre of 22,000 Polish officers by Soviet secret police.

With that as a solemn backdrop, the aging plane carrying some of Poland's highest-ranking officials crashed while trying to land in heavy fog just a short drive from where that 1940 massacre took place. This time, 97 people lost their lives in the Katyn forest.

Our neighbors from Poland may call the United States home now, but they are suffering with their friends and family members who still live in Poland. We see the signs. Makeshift memorials in places with significance to the city's Polish-American population, Polish flags flying from homes and businesses, prayer candles keeping a lonely vigil.

Our hearts go out to our Polish-American neighbors who are mourning the loss of their fellow countrymen and women.
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