On Becoming an American

Well the day is approaching.  Yesterday I received my notification in the mail that my citizenship swearing in will occur August 7th.  It has been a long process and one with a lot of struggle.  After all who wants to become an American when the economy seems to be sinking like a rock and the US dollar is devalued daily?

The final challenge was having to say No when I was asked would I be willing to bear arms for the good old USA.  The thought of bearing arms against anyone is anathema to me and I could not bring myself to say yes.  Having seen up close the atrocities of war and worked with those who have been the victims of war I think that war in any form is evil, condoning it even to become a citizen just was not something I could do.  Fortunately all it meant was that I needed to write a letter stating my objections but it made me wonder how many say yes and are afraid to speak up for what they believe.

So why am I becoming an American?  First because I don’t expect that I will leave here any time soon and having lived here for 16 years I think it is time.  Also I want to be able to vote and at least add my small voice to keeping out another president like George Bush.  There are other ways too in which I would like to be able to raise my voice that I have felt unable to do as a “resident alien.”  At times I have truly felt like a voiceless, faceless entity and I can only be a “voice for the voiceless” if I am able to speak out.

Will I give up bing an Australian? – No in fact I feel more Australian than ever these days.  I think that this process has given me more confidence in who I am as a person and the US is a richly diverse cultural gathering of people.  I am glad to be able to contribute to it.

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