The journey of becoming a United States citizen…………
The conference room is filled to the bursting point. Full of immigrants, family members, spouses and friends from all over the world. The people in the room are filled with nervous smiles and anxious twiddling. This is one of the greatest moments in their life. They have waited for years to accomplish this. The attainment of a lifelong goal.
A goal that started in another country, another life.
The legal immigrants are shuffled out the door of the waiting room and into the swearing in chamber. Family and friends wait patiently for their turn to join them. The adults are dressed up for the occasion and of coarse the teens are on their phones.
There are children playing in the corner from all different backgrounds, from all different countries from all over the world. Their laughter and playful screams can be heard throughout the room.
Family and friends have traveled from across the globe to be present and support the people they know and love.
The family members are now gathered together to sit in the audience area as the immigrants are to be sworn in. There are 31 different countries represented in this group that have come to the United States to restart their life. People from war torn countries, and there are people from our allied countries. There are people from many different religions, many different cultures, and many different races.
A general sense of celebration and sense of excitement permeate the gathered group of people. They intermingle and talk about the journey from there to here. For many this has been a journey of years It is not an easy journey, it takes a deep desire to become a citizen. They must pass tests that many Americans would fail. Every aspect of their lives is gone through and examined. They go through interviews, and they wait. There is no quick answer and they go through the anxiety of waiting throughout the process.
Finally the approval comes in via a letter from the USCIS.
Once everyone is seated the ceremony begins. It is started by everyone rising for the National Anthem. This group of immigrants, soon to be Americans, rise together and sing the National Anthem. They sing the National Anthem with their friends, family and fellow Americans.
After this it is time to listen. There are speeches, and videos about the American way. They listen to wisdom imparted by former immigrants who became citizens. Followed by some of the history of our country. Then they listen to some of our founding fathers wisdom on why the United States was formed. That all people are created equal.
Then it is time. It is time for the former immigrants to become citizens of the United States. They raise their right hand and pledge to the constitution of the United States. Immigrants from all over the world, join to become citizens. After the ceremony some are asked to come to front and lead in the Pledge of Allegiance. Once this is done cheers erupt. It is done……
It is a beautiful sight to see. 50 people from 31 countries joined together and went from being 50 people from 31 countries, to being Americans. And they cheered doing it.
I wish that we could see our country from their perspective. Wherever they came from, they left everything to be here. They came in legally, they were cheered by all present, and they were accepted completely.
They left the only home they knew to come to our country. To follow their dreams of a better life.
Just like my wife and son.