May 25, 2017

MY PEDRO PAN REUNION

On a week when our country experienced once again Arctic weather, the lies of SOTU by POTUS, and the suicidal  GOP amnesty principles, I became enormously grateful for a weekend of much needed revival of spirits.  I now wish to share the experiences with all frustrated and distraught conservative Americans who still stand by the principles that make our country exceptional. 

pedro panOn Saturday evening, February 1, 2014, I attended a Pedro Pan reunion at the University Club in Jacksonville, Florida. What is Pedro Pan you might ask?  It is an organization created by Father Bryan O. Walsh, Director of the Catholic Welfare Bureau of Miami in December 1960 when he became aware of a fifteen year old Cuban boy, Pedro, had been sent by his parents to relatives in the United States in order to escape Marxist indoctrination.  Father Walsh soon realized there were many more “Pedros” in Cuba whose parents worried about their future.  Father Walsh met with Mr. James Baker, the headmaster of Ruston Academy, an American school in Havana, to discuss the exit and provision of shelter to these Cuban children.  The program was soon approved by the State Department for granting visa wavers to these unaccompanied minors.  And so began the exodus of Cuban children that between December 26, 1960 and October 23, 1962, brought to the United States over 14,000 unaccompanied minors under the sponsorship of the Catholic Welfare Bureau.  Most of these children were of the middle class and included children of different racial backgrounds.   Some of the children went to homes of relatives in the United States.  The rest of the children were sent to foster homes and group care homes in cities around the country:  Wilmington, Delaware, Fort Wayne Indiana, Albuquerque New Mexico, Lincoln Nebraska, Miami, Jacksonville and Orlando, Florida.

Last Saturday evening, I realized that no matter how awful everything becomes in our country, the Pedro Pan children will again survive the ordeal because we have been tested; we have been there before and, we overcame the obstacles.  But we need to communicate the story to our fellow Americans who still don’t know the story of Pedro Pan, the story of government brutality and tyrannical communism that destroyed the beautiful island of Cuba (called the Pearl of the Antilles) over fifty years ago.  Our fellow Americans have been denied the truth about Cuba just like they are now being denied the truth about Obama and his Marxist comrades; his desire to bring the same type of tyrannical government and control the education of all American children.  We must bring the story out into the open.  We must warn the children of tomorrow.  We, after all, are the children of the past who can bear witness to the future that the Obama administration wishes for the American children.  No wonder the media does not want you to know the story of Pedro Pan.

It was special and moving to meet with those “boys and girls” who at one point went through the same experience, no longer children but wise seniors who still remember the sacrifice of our parents and who were able to find peace and love after years of solitude, loneliness, and fear.  When at times I ask the Lord why again at old age, I am reminded that it is my duty and an honor to share the experiences, to fight the battle, and to remain faithful to my Christian principles and family values.  Life is not about entertainment and good times, but about learning, growing, teaching, reaching out, sacrificing and caring for others.  It is about using our talents, our intellect, our education, and our experiences to leave this world better than when we first arrived. 

Then on Sunday morning as I attended my Latin mass at a small historical Catholic Church, the priest gave us a short meaningful sermon about the purification process.  He told us how once he had witnessed the purification of silver in the fire.  The silver must undergo this test in the fire until all impurities are gone but not too long or it would be destroyed.  When he asked how one knows when the silver is ready?, the answer was:  when one can see his reflection on the silver metal.  The Pedro Pan experience was part of the purification process, and so are our current ordeals.  The Lord will know when to end the purification; not until we repent, and through redemption find the face of God.

Peter PanElvira Hasty was born in La Habana, Cuba to immigrants from Spain.  She has been politically active since then, first in the Republican Party and lately in her own conservative organization, Ponte Vedra Conservative Women, a group of conservative women concerned about the future of our country. We are united by our common desire to preserve our Constitution, the principles of our Founding Fathers, and our Judeo/Christian values.  To view Elvira’s bio, please go here.

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