29 July 2007

of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness

friday i watched a US naturalization ceremony in sacramento. it was so interesting watching all those people crowd into the light-filled atrium of the capital building, intent on one goal: to become a US citizen. little american flags were waving everywhere; there was an air of expectancy buzzing all around us. and as the judge spoke on patriotic duty and the joys of being an american citizen, john leaned over and whispered in my ear, "so this is what america is all about. different faces, different places. different languages, different colors..." and he was right. that room was filled with people from all over the world. i had been expecting a majority of hispanics or of asians...but really, there was just a great big mix of people. yes there were lots of hispanics and asians but there were also germans and indians and russians and who knows what else. when they walked into that room, they were all different people with different cultures and backgrounds with not much in common but when they walked out of that room, they still came from different cultures with different backgrounds...but they all had something in common now. they were all citizens of the united states of america. 239 people became citizens on that day. and john's mom was one of them. it brought tears to my eyes to see her standing tall, right hand raised high, repeating as well as she could the words the judge was saying. she is proud to be an american. and after watching the ceremony and seeing all those people come together...i am too. proud to be an american that is. the judge said it in his little speech...america may not have it all right...but we're still a great country. and that...i believe is true.

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