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On being a citizen

image from photos.igougo.com

image from photos.igougo.com

What does being a citizen mean to you?  Really mean?

Does it mean you can vote?

Does it mean you belong?

What does it mean?

To me, it means a defining moment in my life.

It represents the moment I stepped away from what my family might think and into what I thought.

To me, it means the opportunity to have a voice.

To have a say.

To count.

Sure I’d had responsibilities all along (taxes). But I’d never had a voice to go with it. (the ability to vote)

Yes, as a Canadian, I had those rights already. But as a Canadian woman living in the United States with her husband and sons, I always had an underlying feeling of being in limbo. Of belonging to one place but living in another. Of feeling .. disconnected.

But not anymore.

Why?

Because I’m a new citizen; Five years ago, I stepped up with 78 others  (from 34 different countries) to take the Oath of Citizenship.  It was one of the proudest and most emotional  moments of my life.  (more about my journey here.)

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.

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

Happy birthday, America …. from a grateful citizen.

A great day - the day I became a citizen!

Teary-eyed at becoming a citizen!

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Categories: Faith, Family, Gratitude, Joy, Life, Share, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

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24 thoughts on “On being a citizen

  1. MJ, your love of our country always makes me smile…. I may have said this before, but I think you could teach quite a few of us “native” Americans a thing or two about pride in our country.
    Happy 4th!

    • Aww, thank you, Dianna. Yesterday I was in the grocery line and chatting with a sweet older lady behind me. She was readying herself for a trip to Savannah, GA to see her daughter and, in her words, “plying the husband with treats.” We laughed about her selection of cookies, cakes, puddings and snacks to leave behind. I wished her a happy trip and she wished me a Happy 4th — something made me tell her … “You know, I am a new citizen! This is my 5th year.” and she couldn’t have hugged me harder if she were my own Mom. It was an awesome moment and I just love it when those moments happen. Sometimes the biggest, most joyous part of the journey is just sharing it with others. Thank you for “getting it” with me … and I hope you have a fabulous Independence Day!
      MJ

      • Aw….what a sweet story! I think each of you made the other’s day!

  2. Awesome post! Being an American to me means having pride in my country and the ability to represent when I travel outside these borders. 🙂

    • Amen to you, Sandi! Happy Independence Day 🙂
      MJ

      PS — The Border Agents respond to me much differently (positively) now that I have my U.S. passport 🙂

  3. Beautiful! I think people who “work” for citizenship don’t take it for granted. I do get teary eyed when they play the Star Spangled Banner or anything patriotic for that matter but I was born here so it’s all I know. I have a lot of respect for Canadians too. We share our continent with some awesome people.

  4. Oh, I love this post, MJ! Such an important question–one most of us should give some thought to. Congrats on your NEW citizenship! And Happy 4th.
    Hugs from Ecuador,
    Kathy

    • Thank you Kathy — and Happy Independence Day to you all the way in Ecuador. By the way, Bucket list to meet you, regardless where you live 🙂 MJ

  5. Congrats on your new citizenship!

    I was reminded of the importance of the need for my participation when I lived overseas. I mised the hoop-lah.

  6. Reblogged this on Little Things of Life 2 and commented:
    HAPPY 4th OF JULY!!! to my blogging friend MJ — and HAPPY 5th CITIZENSHIP-BIRTHDAY!!! 🙂

  7. Thanks again for reminding us of the value of our citizenship, which too many times in this country is taken for granted. Hope you and your family have a great day!! One of my best friends became a U.S. citizen a few years ago, and I also celebrate her “new citizenship” with her!! 🙂

    • You are most welcome, and thank you for the reblogging love. I am very excited to celebrate my 5th 4th of July as a citizen 🙂 Cheers! MJ

  8. Have a WONDERFUL day celebrating!!

  9. Thank you for reminding me of the privileges that accompany citizenship. It’s all to easy to not even think about it most of the time. But you’re right. We have rights. We have voices. So many don’t.

    • It’s sobering to think of all the people around the world who’d love to have the rights some take for granted! Cheers ~ MJ

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