A few days ago we had a chance to witness the Naturalization of Luis, one of our dear friends. The ceremony was held in a small theater in SLC and included 100 new citizens who came from countries as close as Canada and Mexico to as distant as Rwanda. The ages spanned from 18 through 75. The actual ceremony was brief and consisted of the group taking a surprisingly long oath of allegiance. After that the new Americans were given a chance to tell a little about why they were here and what it means to them. I would dare say there wasn't a dry eye in the auditorium after the gentleman from Rwanda spoke about his harrowing experiences and his gratitude for the new opportunities that both he and his family now were being given. A standing ovation followed.
I live in one of the reddest states in the nation but am blue to the core. Frustration and disbelief at the one-sided and short-sighted politics that governs our state makes me shake my head til it hurts. Still, being a part of this inspiring ceremony made me take a step back and realize just how lucky that we all are to be here. I can vote. Granted, that vote doesn't usually mean much here but at least I have that privilege.