E Pluribus Unum is the motto of the United States of America. It is Latin for “From Many, One.” America is a country made up of immigrants from every country in the world, but we come from a distant country, distant countries with different traditions, customs, languages, religions, world views, and point of view, to make a new home, a new country, in the United States of America.
The first generation to arrive still speaks their native language, their “old” language, and they still cherish their “old” native flag and they hang it out on holidays. It reminds them of the country, the folks, the places they left and may never see again in this lifetime.
“From many countries, one new country!” This is our national motto — our slogan. It means, no matter where you came from, now you have a new opportunity to forge your own future based on your own individual effort, sweat, determination, hopes, and dreams.
E Pluribus Unum — and so immigrants to the United States of America take up the challenge that comes from being a newcomer in a new land. They learn English because English is the language of the school system and the legal system in this country. True, there is no official language of the United States, but English is the predominant language and everyone is invited, encouraged to learn it well, to speak it well, to understand it well, to read it well, and to write it well. Communication is so important to a country, just as it is in a family. But you cannot learn a new language overnight.
It takes time. So, good people understand this and take into consideration how long someone has been in the United States of America. If I went to Mexico for the rest of my life, I would most certainly, not only try to learn Spanish, but I would learn Spanish so I would know what is going on around me — be informed! And that is a duty of everyone living in whatever country you choose to live in — to understand and to make yourself understood.
E Pluribus Unum — perhaps more than any other country in the world, the United States of America welcomes immigrants from all over the world. It is important to acculturate, to acquire the culture, traditions, and customs of the country you have chosen to make your new home. People emigrate from their native country for many, many, many varied reasons — and all of them are valid. But we do not move to another country to live as we lived in our native country. “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” Enjoy your new country! On behalf of all Americans, I welcome you to our land of liberty and “the home of the brave”!
E Pluribus Unum — become a citizen as soon as you may be able to. Pay your taxes. Do your jury duty. Vote every time there is an election. Study about the American government and America’s history.
Understand the meaning behind our motto “E Pluribus Unum” and respect it. God bless America and God bless you, too, whoever you are, no matter where you are from, and no matter where you have chosen to make a new home for you and your family in this great country of ours — the United States of America.
— Brian Donald O’Donovan, M.Ed.