4th of July and Apple Pie
When I became a citizen of these United States back in 1996, I had taken 6 years to prepare, studied hard, and was ready for the big "test" to ensure that I would be worthy of being called an American. After studying American History; the constitution and the amendments, memorizing all the Presidents, the Capitols of all the States, and having a clear understanding of all that this country stood for at the time, I was more than ready! I was an excellent student in Poland and had went to University in my home city, so I hit the books pretty hard. You can imagine my disappointment when before the Imigration officer I was asked "who is the current President, and what is your physical address". "What!" "That's it!" Then I was sworn in in front of the judge at the Federal Courthouse.
It seemed to me that this county that I had fallen in love with sold themselves a bit short. It is an honor and a privelage to have the opportunity of being a citizen here. I would have done anything for the chance to be an "American". Americans take for granted what they have here, and I fear that because of this, they may one day lose it. I lived through communism and totalitarianism. My parents and grandparents lived through the devastation of the Nazis and then the Soviets.
Here, not many have had this experience and so don't know how good they have it. But because I lived through those experiences, I can truly appreciate and love this country. I am eternally grateful to this country for giving me the opportunity to be a good citizen.
Soon we will be celebrating the 4th July once again. A time I like to think about my journey to freedom, and a time that many others can reflect on what America means today. I am still a citizen of Poland as well (they recognize duel citizenship), but I consider myself an American, who has ties to my family and friends where I came from. Since Poland is becoming such a good friend to America, my husband and I would like to retire there when we get that chance.
For now it is 4th of July and Apple Pie. Perhaps some watermelon to boot, with the red white and blue flags flying, and the fireworks in the air. God Bless all of you, and God Bless America!
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