On Thursday morning, Nov. 24, 1960, my brother Jose and I were driven to the Havana airport. We said our goodbyes and boarded the flight to Miami. I was 17 and my brother, 13.
When we arrived in Miami, our uncle took us to the house where he was staying with his wife and three children. Anthony, the owner of the house, was an old family friend. He and his family made us feel welcome.
That afternoon, Anthony asked us to help move the picnic tables to the middle of the yard and help with the food. I was astonished that this benevolent family would be so welcoming as to cook a turkey and all of its trimmings in our honor. When we sat at the table and he said grace, I learned it was Thanksgiving Day, and indeed it was a day of thanksgiving for us. We were free, and the rest of the family would join us soon.
I have always held this day and memory dear in my heart.
Francisco J. Jiménez, Miami