Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Oath

Being an American citizen is something that I've always taken for granted. I've been fortunate to enjoy the comforts afforded to me simply because of the circumstances of my birth. Travel into rural Mexico and ten eye-opening days in the Philippines gave me a glimpse of true poverty, the likes of which most Americans will not experience and therefore cannot comprehend.

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.

Congratulations Luis!



The Duchess said...

I like this - very much.

Eris said...

Love this post. And congratulations to the hottest new citizen!

bleason said...

Congratulations to your friend Luis and the citizenship ceremony. One of the great things about the USA is the red state blue state issue. I also live in a red state, but unlike Numi, I usually vote red. But what is great, most of my friends vote and think blue. This Saturday the MoneyWalkers will be hosting a huge Mardi Gras party (seems our parties are never ending these days)and more than half are blue through and through. In some countries we would be trying to kill one another, not sharing king cake and chanting "who dat."