I am excited to vote on November 2nd. Because I can count one hand the number of times I have been able to do so.
I became a citizen two years ago and that moment stands as one of my proudest. Choking back tears, seventy-eight of us (from thirty-four countries) took the oath of allegiance to the United States of America and stepped forward as new Americans. It signified the end of one journey and the beginning of another.
“I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform non combatant service in the armed forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.” http://www.uscis.gov/
Coming from Canada, I didn’t experience some of the challenges that other immigrants do. I already spoke the language and I understood most of the references. That doesn’t mean it’s been easy, because it hasn’t. It’s difficult to be far from my family, far from who knows me and what’s familiar. However it was in stretching my boundaries and moving beyond what my wonderful parents taught me, and what my community instilled in me, that really made me grow.
Could I have done this in my homeland? Of course I could have. But I didn’t. I chose another path. And that path took me here.
So in just over a week we vote again and, standing in line at the polls, you will hear me humming the melody to this lovely song:
God Bless America, Land that I love
Stand beside her, and guide her
Thru the night with a light from above
From the mountains..to the prairies
To the oceans..White with foam
God Bless America!
My Home Sweet Home
America still is a land of opportunity. I know, because I’ve had many.