My dad often talked about how Texas was free from crime and violence when he was growing up. About five years ago my aunt was visiting and I asked her if that was true. She said it wasn't, and shared an amazing story. I shared it with my students in the school newspaper a couple of years ago. My dad was the youngest and is the little guy standing in the middle of the photo. His family came here from East Europe. Immigrant Story - Newspaper
Sounds like your family wanted to be American because they knew they could have a better life here.
When my in-laws came here from Germany they wanted to be American. They learned the culture and the English language. They wanted to! When they stepped off that ship they never spoke German unless they made a call to family back home.
Now days, I see people coming here who only want a handout. They do not want to be American they just want to take advantage of what they can get.
I never heard my dad's name pronounced correctly until I was in my 50's. The community called him Jerry, but his real name was Yerislov. I asked him why he did not correct people. He said he wanted to be considered an American. I think things have changed. Dad was a proud Czech, but he considered himself an American first.