On Becoming An Amercian

Within the confines of our immigration policies exists ideological chasms that at times seem too great to conquer.  The momentum and cultural divides deepen daily and there are times it seems there is no relief in sight.  However, there is a ceremony that takes place each Independence Day which has the ability to soften and blur these lines.  This is the ceremony when one takes the oath of citizenship and becomes an American; The Naturalization Ceremony. Attending this ceremony has become a tradition for me and it never fails to elicit a tear or two as I observe this sacred moment.  This year nearly 500 individuals took the oath of citizenship on July 4th at Fisher Pavilion and pledged their allegiance to our great country.  The oldest individual to take the oath of citizenship this year was an 80 year old gentleman from the Philippines – when he was introduced he stood waving his small American Flag and beaming from ear to ear. I silently wondered about his journey and all the hoops this man jumped through to get to this point.  I imagine I was not the only one. The people in attendance were there by choice and the moment – the significance of the moment – was not lost on a single one of us.  We were all visibly moved by the rituals accompanying such a momentous day. In attendance were dignitaries galore – Governor Jay Inslee, U.S. Senators, State Senators, Ed Murray, Mayor of Seattle, etc., however, the true dignitaries were the immigrants renouncing their countries and becoming Americans.   This ceremony is worthy of one's time and I highly recommend that you attend at least one in your lifetime. I promise it will provide the perfect patriotic boost!    

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