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These truths we hold sacred

I am a naturalized citizen of the United States. 

That means that I wasn't born an American. I chose to become one. It took me a long time. 

When we came here, we moved to Flint, MI. I hated it. I was 17 and I missed home, missed my friends and missed living in a place where people walked places and things were full of history, beauty and art. 

I had a Green Card and could have applied for citizenship for a long time. My parents and sister were naturalized citizens long before I became one. I didn't want to take an oath to the country if I didn't mean it. 

I moved to Ypsilanti to go to college. I met a man I eventually married (and then divorced). And I had a child. Joshua. 

Once I had Joshua on this soil, it truly became my home. I realized that I could say the words and I could mean them: 

"I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God."

With this in mind, as a naturalized CITIZEN of the United States I celebrate today, the most unique of Independence Days with new sense of awe and trepidation. Finally, finally after years of self-discovery and self-education we on the verge of truly understanding the words written by our forefathers on this fateful day:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Happy Independence Day!