Posts Tagged With: Oath of Citizenship

32 and 9 and still new

32 years ago I immigrated to the United States with $178 and a guitar.

9 years ago I stepped forward with 78 others to take the Oath of Citizenship.

It was one of the proudest and most emotional  moments of my life.

(more about my journey here.)

You see, someday I will be a citizen for 15 or 20 or 35 years and I’ll still choose to tell folks that I’m a “new” citizen.


Because I don’t know how else to communicate the significance of it.    The choice of it.

We’re not perfect, this country, we’ve got our flaws.  Like most families, there’s bickering and divisions and  always someone willing to point out what’s wrong with us … but still … there’s a heart and soul about America that continues to inspire people to imagine a life here.

* * * *

God Bless America, Land that I love

Stand beside her,  and guide her

Thru the night with a light from above

From the the prairies

To the oceans..White with foam

God Bless America!

    My Home Sweet Home

Happy birthday, America …. from a grateful citizen.



Categories: Attitude, Faith, Holidays, Home, News, Opinion, Personal | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

R5F – The D.C. edition

I finally made it to D.C. Tuesday night, missed our conference but made all of my Hill meetings (that’s how the regulars say it when they’re meeting with Congressional reps … heh heh).

Here’s my Random 5 Friday for today – the D.C. edition ….

1. If you’ve never been to Washington, D.C. you must go.  Yes it’s a big city. Yes there are a ton of tourists. But – there’s so much to see and do. And nearly every step you take is laced with history and meaning.   I say this every year but next year I am adding a couple of vacation days to be a tourist and take it all in.

2. Just driving past the Pentagon takes more than a few minutes. It’s that massive.

3. In the 2 days I was in D.C., I walked at least 12 miles and most of it was below the city. Did you know that tunnels connect many Governmental Buildings?  They’re clean and well-lit, but old as time.  I felt a bit like Desmond in “L.O.S.T”  Freaky.

"See you in another life, Brotha."  -L.O.S.T.

“See you in another life, Brotha.” -L.O.S.T.

4.  Meetings were fast and furious, back-to-back and took a lot of effort to get from one place to another. But, more than once, I stopped the race to just look around and linger in the moment.  Me.  6 years a citizen. From immigrant to company representative, meeting with the highest offices in the land!  In one such meeting I stepped away from the talking points and commented on a  photo of that particular Congressman with President Ford.  Impulsively, I told him I was a new citizen and that I’d taken my Oath of Citizenship at the Ford Museum in Grand Rapids.  His eyes met mine, he reached across the table, shook my hand and, with a tear in his eye, he quietly said, “Welcome. We’re glad to have you.”  It was a good meeting turned great and I learned once again that being yourself is more than enough.

5.  As much difficulty as we had getting there, it was the people I met who made this trip great for me.   The elderly veterans, many on scooters, dressed in their uniforms and pins and badges, just so patriotic and happy to have someone stop them to say hello.   My work colleagues from around the country who shouted my name as I entered the hotel; it was so fun to have them close to me.    The students I helped in the tunnels, because even though I walked them multiple times, I know how easy it is to get lost and how good it feels when someone offers you a hand.

It’s Random. It’s Friday. And I’m glad to be home.  You?

Categories: Elections, Faith, Fun, Gratitude, Growth, Joy, Life, Opinion, Patriotic, Personal, Random, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

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