05/14/12 — Inspirational: The American dream -- realized

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Inspirational: The American dream -- realized

To realize his dream, Gac Filipaj, 52, had to mop floors and juggle a job with his studies at Columbia University.

It was not easy, but neither was the life he left in Yugoslavia.

And this weekend, after all those long hours and tough days, he received a diploma, with honors.

Perhaps there are more inspiring stories than this janitor who decided he would do whatever it took to earn a college degree. We think not.

However, there is a lesson for anyone who thinks that this country does not reward those who work hard, does not welcome those with a dream and is not the place where a man's dream can come true.

Filipaj is an inspiration because he is living proof that the American dream still exists. He is someone who really understands and appreciates the freedoms and opportunities this country has to offer.

And reading his story should fill all of us with pride -- and hope.

Published in Editorials on May 14, 2012 10:43 AM