1901 Hannah Brandt and her older sister
My Grandmother and older sister in 1901

While I am not a big flag waving parading watching 4th of July fan I always feel very grateful on this day. As a country we celebrate not the day that we won the war but the day that the Declaration of Independence was signed. The day that when we stated to the world, and more importantly ourselves our intentions, rather than the day that the war was won. I understand that when the Declaration of Independence was signed the majority of people (women, anyone man who wasn’t white and Christian) were not included in the document, but for me the importance of this day comes one hundred and twenty years later, or so.

Solomon Brandt
My Great-grandfather in the 1910’s

That was the time period that my great grandparents were all making decisions about their lives. My family comes from Russia and Poland, and during that time Pogroms were going on. Each had to decide what to do and often it meant leaving family behind, and emigrating. The decisions made in those late years of the nineteenth century most likely allowed for my family to survive, to not be caught up in the violence that followed until 1945.  It meant that four generations of Brandts, Millers, Firstenbergs and Riegelhaupts (and now Bloomfields) have been able to live and love. I know there are many other facets to our country, but for me I must be thankful for my very existence.

264 E Browdway
Hannah Brandt (Grandma) in 1920

Wedding Day
My father on his wedding day with his mother and mother-in-law

Alder and Big Dad
“Big Dad” and Alder this past spring