On July 4, 1922 14 year old Cecelia saw her first fireworks display.
It was her second day in America, having arrived at Ellis Island two days earlier, only 14, but she had made it to America, a place where she believed the streets were paved with gold.
In a small box was every possession she owned; one change of clothing and photographs of her family.
Working any job available, she attended English school. She never stopped or slept and set her mind upon becoming an AMERICAN.
Six years later she spoke fluent English, became a citizen and lived her American dream.
She told me later that she was so hungry, she sat on the curb in NY and ate an entire tray of donuts.
On my own voyage to Ellis Island, I heard how Red Cross workers carried trays of milk and donuts to the hungry refugees and the pieces of the puzzle fit. I sat down on the step I imagined was her seat in the noisy crowded hall and cried as I tried to feel what she felt.
She died when I was only six and in my bedroom sits that small box. It never had a lock, only hinges and a varnish covering. Inside the cover is painted the words, "Landed South Boston July 4, 1922"
But every July 4th I am renewed with enthusiasm and try to see the sky through her eyes and am reminded of her sacrifices, my freedoms and am forever grateful.