Next to photographs of my wife and three children, there's an original INS green card on my desk in a plastic holder. The ID photo shows a long-haired 3-year-old wearing a handmade sweater. It's dated June 5, 1950, and was issued in New Orleans.

Anytime I am feeling down, I look at that card and think how things could have been. The Displaced Persons Act of 1948 made it possible. A stranger in Iowa provided the sponsorship. Without him, my parents and I were stuck in a refugee camp in Germany.

Thanks, Joe Uzelac. Thank you, America.

Branko Terzic

Vienna

Before dawn, driving toward the lightening sky. Parking in an empty lot on a hill facing east. The sun just coming through the clouds. Through the binoculars, against the red orb, there it is -- the sharp black circle of Venus. For the first time I feel what I've been told about the solar system. Peering out across space, through the planets, toward the sun . . .

"Sir? Do you work here?" the guard asks. "They're real sensitive about people with binoculars looking at them down there. I advise you to leave immediately." Oh, yeah. The Pentagon. Venus in the House of Mars.

Vincent J. Miller

Arlington

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