Becoming American Citizens

Today, Steve and I finally did it! We became American citizens.

It’s been a long time coming. I’ve lived in this country for 40 years. Now I’m wondering why we waited so long.

The ceremony today was incredible – simply breathtaking. Under the backdrop of an enormous American flag, the LA Convention Center hall was filled with thousands of people of every color and race, from 140 countries in the world. There were over 4,000 of us in total.

We chatted with the people around us, from El Salvador, Ireland, Germany and Mexico. Everyone of us excited and eager to pledge allegiance to our adopted homeland.

The judge got up and gave a beautiful speech, extolling the virtues of America but also reminding us of the responsibilities we hold as citizens.

American flag, Star Spangled Banner

With hands over our hearts, we pledged our loyalty to our new country, together as one. We arrived as citizens of 140 countries and left as citizens of one.

A children’s choir sang, they played America the Beautiful and we joined together to sing The Star Spangled Banner. Let me tell you, there was hardly a dry eye in the place.

You may think it’s a weird time to become a citizen.

Some people have asked us, why now? After all, we’ve been citizens of Canada all of our lives. Why on earth would we want to become American citizens now? At this time? In this election year?

All I can say is, I feel like I’ve been cheating on America, keeping Canada on the side like a go-to boyfriend in case things don’t work out. I realized I can’t do that anymore and finally decided to make the commitment.

I’ve lived in this country for 40 years. We work and pay our taxes here. We have three children that were born here – our ‘anchor kids’. We even have two American-born grandkids.

Steve and I were in Canada this past summer on vacation and it was wonderful to be there and spend time with friends and family. We both have an abundance of fond memories from our childhoods there. But one thing became clearer than ever. Canada is no longer home. Our hearts and our loyalties belong here.

And so, we’ve taken the plunge, we’ve pledged our allegiance, we’ve signed on the dotted line. For better or worse. For richer or poorer. We’re here.

Steve and Karen at citizenship ceremony

This is our home. This is our country. This is where we belong.

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  1. CONGRATULATIONS! I have a friend who has lived in Canada now for 40 years and won’t become a citizen ofvthis country. I find it very sad. She has three sons who were born here and three grandchildren….hopefully one day she will realize the importance of it!

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