by Linda Brickman
Ever since I started campaigning for the Central AZ Water Conservation District, I have had numerous chances to speak why politics is important to me and what being a true RED American means. Yesterday, October 29th was my husband’s and my Golden Wedding Anniversary and we spent part of the evening at one of our favorite restaurants. While there, two wonderful things happened: the answer came to me about what a true American was and I received the best present one could ever receive.
The evening really started about 10 months ago. Bob and I had gone to dinner at a Thai restaurant in Central Phoenix and while there I spoke with our waitress who had been living in the U.S for a few years. She said she loved it here and it was her dream to become an American Citizen in this great country. Of course, not passing up any opportunity to share our living document with anyone, I handed her a pocket Constitution of the U.S. and told her to study it and we would continue to talk more about the opportunities she could have as a citizen.
Over the next couple of months, she and I would visit about her living conditions in her native land and how different it was here in America. Her desires to become a citizen grew daily and she could barely not talk about anything else except her chances to be an individual living here permanently in the States.
Last evening, upon walking into the restaurant my friend broke into tears when she saw me enter. She told me that she had gone to get her fingerprints, and her file had been completed to become an American Citizen…. As we spoke about the ordeal of the steps it took for her to become a legal citizen, she again broke into tears sharing with me each and every step she took. She had shared with me that it was important for her to become a citizen not just for her, but to leave that legacy for her daughter to know what was right. The first week of June arrived and her daughter was not available to go with her, so she cancelled her test for two weeks.
The day of the test arrived. On June 22, 2012, she took her Nana and eleven year old daughter with her to share what she hoped would be the happiest day of her life. She had 6 questions to answer. With each question, she took her time and resolutely answered each one to the best of her ability. Then she was finished.
“Linda,” she said, “Oh my god, I can vote for you now. I passed my test! I am now a citizen of the United States!”
All I could say was, “I am sooo proud of you!” To watch someone’s eyes light up the room as they did was one of the proudest moments I have ever had and the best present anyone could ever receive. There was no complaining about what she had to go through, and no apologies for her misgivings of her own country. What she gave to me was a renewed appreciation of what we ALL have in our country and many of us have forgotten about. The hard fought ideals of what a true American invests in to become a productive and proud citizen of these great States and the pride we should all carry with us as we go to the polls to vote on what it takes to keep America alive and well. We must give back to America for all the trailblazing efforts of our founding fathers and those before us who gave of their lives to protect our Sovereignty. That is what America is all about.
Why can’t we all be that proud to take an important step in our own lives and register to vote and THEN VOTE as a PROUD AMERICAN? Do we have to be reminded by a brand new proud citizen of the rights and privileges that we have as Americans that most take for granted? It is about time that we STAND UP and SPEAK LOUDLY that this is our land and no one person should ever trample on the laws of this great Nation.
God Bless America; God Bless our Military; God Bless our Constitution; and God Bless all the wonderful people who make up this great Nation, like my friend who just became the Proudest American I know.
© Linda Brickman. October 2012. All Rights Reserved.