On July 25, 2018, I was sworn in as a citizen of the United States of America with eight thousand eight hundred other immigrants. I was very moved by the experience. A federal judge spoke convincingly about the rights and responsibilities of becoming a citizen.
I have been a resident in the United States since July 4th, 1993. I am sorry to admit that I don’t remember the last Canadian election in which I voted.
Self-Evident and Yet Visionary
Every 4th of July I read the Declaration of Independence. I am always amazed by these visionary and compelling words, first written by Thomas Jefferson: “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.”
Divine Discontent Stirred Within Me
This was the first time I voted here in the United States. A divine discontent has been stirring in me for years. I wanted to become more part of the process. Being able to vote was my primary motivation for becoming a citizen rather than being satisfied with my resident alien status. I felt it was time to take responsibility for myself by participating in the democratic process. I am very grateful for all the good that occurs for me because I live here in America. I am grateful for all the freedoms we have been promised. I am grateful for the freedom of speech, the freedom of religion, freedom of the press and freedom of assembly.
This is a great country and I am grateful to be part of it.
The process of voting was much more difficult than I had at first imagined. When I registered to vote on July 25th, I chose to vote by mail. I am really glad I made that choice. There was so much information to sort through. I felt overwhelmed! Several weeks passed before I even did the sample ballot. I took my newly-established responsibility seriously and I did additional research to help me make clear choices.
There was a great deal to consider. Still it took me a long time to vote. I mailed my vote in the day before the election.
Proudly I wore my “I voted” sticker for two days.