The son of a rabbi, he was born MAY 11, 1888. At 4-years-old, he immigrated with his family from Russia to New York. Falling in love with America, he served as a U.S. infantry sergeant in World War I. He wrote some of the nation's most popular songs, including: "Alexander's Ragtime Band," "White Christmas" and "God Bless America," the royalties of which he gave to the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. Who was he? Irving Berlin, who in 1945 received the Army's Medal of Merit from President Truman, in 1955 he received the Congressional Gold Medal from President Eisenhower, and in 1977 he received the Freedom Medal from President Ford. On October 12, 2001, Congressman Mike Castle of Delaware stated: "In the aftermath of September 11...Republicans and Democrats burst into that song of the same name by Irving Berlin on the steps of the U.S. Capitol...It was a slogan for peace." Irving Berlin wrote: "God Bless America, Land that I Love, Stand Beside Her, and Guide Her, Through the Night, with the Light From Above, From the Mountains, to the Prairies, To the Oceans White with Foam, God Bless America, My Home Sweet Home, God Bless America, My Home Sweet Home!"