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Happy Birthday, Amer-wica!!

that's me & our boys at my citizenship party; the one who did the cheering is in white.

That’s what our 4 year old shouted during a pause in the Fireworks that year.  The crowd responded with a collective, “aww” after hearing his squeaky little voice express his heartfelt sincerity.

There we were, the four of us, taking in the Ft. Bend County 4th of July festivities in Sugarland, Texas.  Cotton candy, snow cones, BBQ pork, turkey legs, pickles and crowds.  June bugs, carnival rides, and country music blaring in the background.  Hot summer sun, slices of watermelon and try-your-luck-here games of chance and skill.  Spreading a blanket out over the dusty ground, passing the bug spray, and leaning back to watch the dazzling fireworks fill the sky. Pure summer bliss.

I’ve always loved our holidays, but Independence Day might be my favorite.  Why?  Because I’m a new citizen; in May, 2008, I stood with 78 other individuals from 34 different countries to take my Oath of Citizenship.  It was one of the proudest moments of my life.  (more about my journey here.)

image from photos.igougo.com

The thing is … I could be a citizen for 40 years and I’ll still choose to say that  I’m a “new” citizen.  Why? Because I don’t know how else to communicate the significance of it all to me.

I’m a new citizen and today is Independence Day.

A day of parades and tributes, picnics and boat rides. A day for family, for visiting, for cheering and for reflection.  A day off work for many, and a day at work for some (thank you to our military, police, fire, rescue and other “essential” workers who keep us all safe).   It’s a day to slather on the sunscreen and take in a ball game,  dish up some potato salad and enjoy a cold drink and later, spread out the blankets and camp chairs to take in the fireworks.  It’s a day to remember that there are still many around the world who do not have the basic freedoms Americans enjoy every day.

It’s a day for gratitude.

I’m a new citizen; God Bless America … my home, sweet home.

 

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Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Faith, Family, Food, Friendship, Gratitude, Holidays, Home, Joy, Life, music, News, Opinion, Patriotic, Personal, Quotes, Relationships, Thoughts, Traditions | Tags: , , , , | 24 Comments

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24 thoughts on “Happy Birthday, Amer-wica!!

  1. What a special post. I love that your son shouted Happy Birthday Amer-wica during that pause. I’m sure your heart swelled with pride.
    We were at a race once and a young boy near us, who obviously was physically handicapped, sang every word of the National Anthem. He was sitting a couple of rows behind us, and I turned around and smiled at him. I was about to applaud him at the end, but his Mom held up her hand for me to wait. He had to shout: “Gentleman, start your engines”. That was so special.

    • Thank you; it still warms our hearts to tell that story!! I love the story you shared … awww. I still tear up when I sing the anthem, I still cry at veterans marching/walking/wheeling in parades, and I cried yesterday when my grand-daughter waved the flag to the patriotic music! Happy Independence Day!!

      MJ

  2. Way to go! Emjay.

  3. For those of us born here who have never experienced other countries it is very easy to take what we have for granted. Some countries are similar, others are brutally repressive; it’s hard for some of us to imagine how that happens.
    For me, it is important to embrace our “new” citizens, as they remind us most easily of the freedoms we take for granted. Thanx for being one of the newbies who reflects the pride and gratitude we all should feel.

  4. Often those of us born in the USA take our citizenship for granted. You are such a good example of what it means to ‘become’ an American. I hope your happiness and pride at joining US remains as true as it is today!

    • and I’m sure it will. Having been a “registered alien” for so long (doesn’t that sound weird?) I had all responsibilities of citizenship (paying taxes) but not the rights (voting) .. but getting the right to vote (and using it) is something I don’t take for granted. Voting in 2008’s Presidential election was a thrill for me .. and every time I go back to the polls, I am reminded of that one special day.

      Cheers! MJ

  5. Awww, that is so great! In Sugarland? Wow. In Texas…3 hours away is just around the corner! Happy 4th you awesome citizen!

    • I know, small world hey? They put on one awesome 4th of July celebration :). We lived in Katy and that was only about 30 min from the fairgrounds … Cheers!! MJ

  6. We’re at Lake Conroe…my mother and brother and more family drove up here on the 4th from Fort Bend…to cook hamburgers, hot dogs, eat Mexican food, feed the ducks, go fishing, ride the paddleboat and finally at night watch fireworks from the balcony over the lake. Happy 3rd anniversary, MJ!

  7. Lovely post! Maybe we should all adapt the “new citizen” mentality…

  8. Very nicely done. 🙂
    R

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