This heart-warming story from Pasaic NJ demonstrates that Hispanics, including new immigrants, see themselves as part of the American fabric. “Longtime Passaic residents often complain that the new, mostly Spanish-speaking immigrants haven’t assimilated into the American scene. But the 3,000 people who turned out for the Memorial Day parade on Monday were out to prove their critics wrong,” notes the story in The Record, a North Jersey newspaper. Thousands of red-white-and blue-clad Hispanics marched to honor our military during the Memorial Day festivities in a town that was once home to Russian, Polish, Hungarian and Ukranian immigrants but is increasingly Latino now. “School board trustee Horacio ‘Ray’ Carrera, who led the parade-organizing committee, said the message being sent to all children and their parents is that they too are Americans,” according to The Record. The complaint that Hispanic immigrants don’t identify with their new country is a common one, but evidence is scarce. Like most immigrants before them, first generation Latino immigrants may hold onto fond memories of their countries of origin, but that doesn’t mean they don’t appreciate the opportunity their new home affords. We forget that this pattern isn’t unique to Latinos. German-language schools were prevalent in the mid-West well into the 20th Century. Yiddish newspapers, radio and theater were popular in New York City for decades after the arrival of Jewish immigrants from Russia and Poland. Even today, Sons of Italy, the Polish American Congress and other ethnic organizations boast hundreds of thousands members nationwide. But those same immigrants and their children served with distinction in World War II, just as thousands of Hispanics are members of today’s military–comprising 12 percent of enlisted servicemen and women. And let’s not forget the 230 young Hispanic men and women who have given their lives for their country in Iraq and Afghanistan.