This necklace was once a pendant coexisting with 6 other pendant’s encompassing one bracelet. The bracelet was purchased in Naples Italy, where my grandfather was stationed in World War II and where my grandmother, a first generation American, was born in 1920. This pendent that I proudly wear on my neck has seen battle, traveled over the Atlantic Ocean, and rested on my grandmother’s wrist. In 1990, at age 69, my grandmother passed away. I missed her by 3 years. Although I still feel like I know her. She lives through this necklace that I am able to wear. This necklace was created in 1991 by a jeweler in Edison New Jersey by having each pendant on the bracelet removed and fashioned into necklaces. Each necklace was then given to his daughters. Finally, after 25 years the necklace has been passed down to me, their grandchild, a third generation American. This pendant that now makes up the necklace is from a time of war. When the war was over and my grandfather returned, Americas economy skyrocketed, but America still faced a huge social issue, the struggle for equality among minorities and women. My grandmother however, maintained a job as a key punch operator. This necklace is not only a symbol of my family’s immigration from America, but a symbol of my family’s endurance and strength. Since it has been passed down to be, I have worn it every day. I will be wearing it when I graduate this December, being the first generation in my immediate family to graduate from college.
– E. Yusko