‘A Nation of Immigrants’

Published 9:30 am Monday, January 18, 2010

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Students in the Albert Lea School District this morning gathered at First Lutheran Church for the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Breakfast.

There, several students read aloud essays they had written along the lines of the theme for this year’s gathering. The theme is “A Nation of Immigrants.”

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The Tribune has obtained those essays as they were written by the students. We print them here for you in their original words, without any editing, to allow you to see the students’ free form of writing. As you read, please imagine the words being spoken aloud by young writers.

Treat uthrs the way you wont to be treat. I like uthrs pepls that have differetn scin.

Hailey Barnes

first grade

Be nice to othr people. That hav difrint skin kalrs. we ar all the sam.

Alexis Breuer

first grade

What does Martin Luther King want us to understand about his speech and our rights?

Well, I think he wanted us to understand that we should all have freedom and peace with one another. He fought with words, for our country until he was killed. He gave speeches about the slaves and wanted everyone to be treated the same. He wanted the white race to hear what the black people had to say. He wanted everyone to be united and happy.

Mariana Luz Del-Angel Carrizales

fifth grade

“A Nation of Immigrants”

This place is full

Full to the brim

Full of people

From another nation

At one time

Or another

We all come here,

Through our ancestors

Or through our own actions

This great nation

Was created

By immigrants who wanted

To be free from their country

They wanted to start

One of their own

One they could govern

One well known

They started this nation

Of their own creation

From many systems

From many places

They started out slowly

But now there are many

Races to see

Who can take us

From under the sea

To a nation

Full of prosperity

Brady Ebert

10th grade

‘A Nation of Immigrants’

Ole Iverson Opdahl is my great, great grandfather. He came from Norway on a ship called “Mary”. Ole was only twelve years old when he and his family left the island they lived on in Norway. They sailed from Bergen on May 9,1864. They were shipwrecked in Scotland the 21st of May (same month they left), drifted for one week and were pulled in with a British Steamship to Sheals, England without losing a man. They finally reached Quebec with as many passengers as when they left, one child died and one was born. From Quebec they went to Montreal in common box cars. Ole and his family then went to Milwaukee, Wisconsin on a steamboat and then to Madison the next day, where his uncle met them. Then they went to Spring Prairie and from there to Freeborn County, Minnesota.

When Ole was 22 he bought his own farm. He bought 160 acres of land in Mansfield Township (section 11), Freeborn County in July, 1874, for 1,300 dollars. As Ole kept growing more prosperous, he kept purchasing more land. By 1895, Ole owned land in Sections 11,12,13, and 14 in Mansfield Township. Ole made many improvements to his land. The original house was built in 1874; 20 years later Ole built a new barn and a much larger house. Ole was president of the Farmers’ Mutual Telephone Company of Emmonns. He installed a phone in his own home as early as 1903.

I think coming to America gave Ole many opportunities that he wouldn’t have had in Norway. For example. Ole was able to buy land and farm. Ole was a. State Representative, he was also involved in other local offices and he was able to buy land and farm. Also I am very thankful that Ole came to America because otherwise I would not be here today and that would have been disappointing because I am very proud to say that I am an American. I am proud to say that I am his great, great granddaughter. I am glad that Ole came to America.

Brianna Opdahl

seventh grade

‘Martin Luther King Jr.’

Martin Luther King Jr. wanted everyone to be free. Martin Luther King Jr. also wanted people to be treated the same. He thought that it was wrong how they treated the black people different from the white people. The black people had to sit on the back of the bus. One day Martin Luther King Jr. stood up to them and told them that was wrong how they treated the black people. I have learned that it doesn’t really matter what your skin color is. It really doesn’t matter if where you come from. What really matters is the person that you are with people and how you treat them. He died on January 19. But we still celebrate what he tried to do.

Lizett Valdez

sixth graade

“Martin Luther King Jr.”

I think that Martin Luther King Jr. was a brave man because he helped us by trying to get us to get along with eachother. Martin Luther King helped us all. I felt proud because he wanted children to be in whichever school or classroom they wanted. I agree.

I think that right now in our community, it looks like there is still a little bit of people who think they’re better than me or other people. But when I know that somebody thinks they’re better than me, I just say to myself, “I don’t care.” I’ll just continue to do what I do and continue to do the right thing.

Tiffany Valdez

fifth grade