Friday, April 18, 2008

My Dad's Proud To Be An American

(These pictures aren't the greatest, it was dark in the room and my camera battery was dying!)

On Wednesday, April 16th, MY DAD became a United States Citizen. I was fortunate to be able to attend the ceremony. There were 198 citizens from 51 countries being naturalized. Some of the countries represented were Afghanistan, Iraq, Ethiopia, China, Yugoslavia, Guatemala, Uraguay and of course . . . ENGLAND! After the oath, a few of the new citizens were given an opportunity to express their feelings. It was humbling to listen to some of their situations. A lady from China talked about how 20 years ago after hearing an American answer a question that yes they liked their US president, it made her want to live in a country where she could express her opinions freely. A man from Ethiopia stood up and expressed how glad he is to be here finally, as he spoke, I couldn't help but picture the images of starving children in Ethiopia and think how blessed he is to be here in the USA. A lady from Iraq, now an American citizen sat directly in front of me. She held a little baby girl (probably no older than 2-3 months), and my eyes filled with tears as I thought of the opportunities that she and her daughter now have; freedoms they would never have in Iraq.
And, of course I was proud of my dad. Now after living in the USA for 20 years he is an American citizen. However, what a blessing that he has always lived in a free land. His becoming an American citizen isn't as life changing as it was for some in that ceremony, but what an honor and a privilege to be a citizen of this great land.
(Guess I better get my paperwork going . . .)


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