How did your ancestors feel when they arrived in America for the first time? What were they anticipating? What did they experience?
Arriving in New York City in 1893 aboard the SS Rhynland, five-year-old Israel Beilin knew only that his family was fleeing danger in their native Russia. Among his few surviving memories of his former country was the memory of watching his home burn to the ground. Like many immigrants, the Beilins arrived virtually penniless, but that didn’t stop young Israel from pursuing his passion in a country that dared its newcomers to dream big.
Years later, this grateful immigrant, now known to the world as Irving Berlin, penned the words to a song that expressed his heartfelt thanks for all that America provided to him.
In celebration of you, the faithful indexers and arbitrators who are helping America to remember the stories of its immigrant sons and daughters, we bring you this special narrative and performance of Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America,” by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
Thank you for all you are doing to help today’s Americans revive and retain the memory of their immigrant ancestors.