* Originally posted July 3, 2013.
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.
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.
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 this grateful citizen.
**This is my 12th Independence Day as a new citizen. I’ll celebrate the holiday with flair, independently, of course!