Oh ... Really?

Happy Fourth!

Many of us here in the United States take our citizenship for granted. We were born here, it has never been an issue. For those in other countries who wish to become a citizen here, the road can be long, frustrating and daunting. Paperwork, bureaucracy, red-tape all stand between being a resident alien and achieving the American Dream.

In today's local paper, The Knoxville News-Sentinel, one young lady recounts her journey to becoming an American citizen. As we celebrate our country's freedom and independence, we should also remember that there are millions around the world that would give anything for what we take for granted.
Gathered in a stately courtroom in Chattanooga with 51 people from 21 different countries, I became an American citizen. This journey of 20 years was finally over.

I was born in Zambia in south-central Africa 23 years ago. My parents had applied for residency to the United States about 20 years ago and 12 years later, our application file came through.

I recall our interview at the American Embassy in the capital city of Lusaka in the early part of 1997. My dad, Bhupendra "Bob" R. Desai, had planned for that day for years and he had the biggest grin on his face when the officer told us we would be able to travel to the United States and become permanent residents. My dad couldn't believe his lifelong dream of becoming an American citizen was taking form.

My father had a lifelong love of this country. That dream quickly became mine, too. As a young girl, three of my friends and I started a club called "U.S. Gals" where we imagined how clean and amazing America would be - a stark contrast from the dusty and plain lives we felt we lived in Zambia.

Read the rest of Jigsha's story ... and wear your red, white and blue proudly. God Bless the USA.

And please ... stay safe out there.

Posted by LissaKay on 07/04/05 at 02:00 AM in Our World
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