Tuesday, November 9, 2010

On finally becoming an American citizen - and patriotism

by Kirk Muspratt

After having lived in the United States of America for most of my adult life, at 8 a.m. Monday, November 15th, at the homeland security building in Chicago, I will finally be sworn in as an American citizen! It has been an extremely long, time-consuming, expensive process with many other kinds of visas, much time with the best immigration lawyers, many letters of recommendation from important and busy people, several background checks, finally a green card which is extremely difficult to obtain, a biometrics exam, an interview, and a written and verbal exam.

I think on the tests they try to trick you – because the lady asked me if I had ever been a prostitute! However, in studying for the exams I learned much about the USA and became enriched in delving into what made America, America.

I found that I had been incorrect my whole life in thinking that the Columbia was the 2nd longest river in America - it is the Missouri. I had believed that senators were elected for 4 years and I learned that it is really 6. I had no idea that there were 435 congressmen in the House of Representatives.

More importantly, I learned about the federalist papers of 1787 and all the writings that Madison and Hamilton worked through to explain and clarify the constitution to the people of that time. One realizes how vital all of these aspects of rule of law, freedom of religion, freedom of speech were to these people. It is arresting to revisit the truth that those people, from all their great lands across the sea, did not have these rights before coming here. They were coming here to begin something completely untested and yet ringing true to all of them.

I am now able to take the pledge of allegiance. It is not corny to be a patriot.
Becoming an American citizen is serious. I will be a patriot and when called to serve on a jury, I will.When I have now for the first time, the opportunity to vote, I will. The homeland security lady, in my interview, asked me:
“If the country calls you to wash dishes and scrub floors, would you do so?" I said: "yes", I will."

Perhaps though, since I am a musician, I can help to contribute something else as a patriot.


No comments:

Post a Comment