CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - With all the rancor in America over immigration and race relations, an event in the Cleveland Cultural Gardens celebrated the different cultures and traditions that make up America.
There was a very simple way to tell you what One World Day was about, simply look at the many and varied faces of people who became citizens at the event on Sunday. Different faces bringing their different cultures to Cleveland.
The costume colors were vibrant, as was the music, with people taking pride in their heritage, celebrating their different backgrounds not judging one another. Something Federal Judge Solomon Oliver addressed to 25 people sworn in as new Americans.
The judge told them we cherish diversity.
"We don't ask that you give up your religion, we don't ask that you give up your heritage and by all means we want you to bring your talent That is what America stands for," Oliver said.
In large part the event was a celebration. Tears of joy in the eyes of a new citizen, the revitalized gardens, costumes, food and smiles all round.
Former Councilman Joe Cimperman now works with people new to America.
"You can't be around these folks and have a bad day," Cimperman said.
Lisa Wong works with those coming from the Asian Pacific region.
"We get a lot of people who come to Cleveland because Cleveland is a growing city and has a large growing Asian Pacific population," Wong said.
August Pust has advised four mayors, three governors and even a president on ethnic affairs. He believes the rest of the nation, even the world can learn a lesson from events like this one in Cleveland.
"This is probably the top of the things that all nations should be looking at," Pust said.
"We have selective amnesia some times. In the 1920s 40 percent of the population of the city of Cleveland spoke a language other than English," Cimperman said.