Everyone should speak English
I have not been moved to write a letter to the editor until I read Monday's edition that came with articles about the immigrants who have been given a chance to succeed in Garden City. I applaud each and every one of you. I have watched many people, some neighbors who migrated to Garden City to provide a better life for them and their families. I have had the privilege of knowing some of my neighbors who also come from Mexico and brought their children one by one and helped them get jobs and get established and make a better life for each one of them. I have watched their children and grandchildren grow, graduate and become responsible and educated adults.
My problem is not with these people who are doing exactly what I am doing. I am also experiencing a form of discrimination. I was born and raised in Colorado. I graduated from high school, served in the Army and the Reserves. I married a man born in Garden City, all four of our children graduated from Garden City High School. I have not been in trouble with the law. I have never had any trouble getting a job until this year. But, because I do not speak Spanish, I am not considered for a job that I am otherwise qualified for.
Garden City has become a melting pot for all cultures. I am 100 percent for everyone being given a chance to better themselves and their families. However, I believe with all of my heart that it is their responsibility, no matter what culture, to learn English. I have had seven generations and numerous family members who served in the military services so that America (including Kansas) remains free — and speaking a foreign language was not a qualification to apply, be accepted and serve. This letter isn't to start a verbal war with anyone — it is to let you know that there is another form of discrimination out there and, sadly, I have been subjected to it, but no one wants to hear or talk about it.
Celebrate Windsor 125th anniversary
Please accept my invitation to the 125th anniversary of the groundbreaking of the Windsor Hotel. The event will take place at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 22 in front of the Windsor Hotel. Included in the celebration will be the re-enactment of the event, 125 balloons launched, tours, cake and oral histories taken.
This is you and your family's opportunity to participate in an event to recognize the impact of city founder John Stevens' dream of a successful business venture and what it has manifested into. Every town has one; a place that helps define the city and an inherent part of the community psyche. The Windsor Hotel is our own and a wonderful patent declaration of our forefathers' aspirations and our present-day ambition to keep our heritage a part of our future.
Come celebrate and pay homage to something that links our lives together and gives pause to reflect where we have been and where we want to go. See where a collective effort can take us. Come holler, laugh and clap for this old friend's birthday. This place matters.
Harness is president of the Finney County Preservation Alliance.