(Toda la vida le han dicho que parece gringa, pero ya es oficial.)
Well it took more than a year of studying and preparing, going to school and memorizing the history books, and last Thursday June 3o, my beautiful and amazing grandmother became a US Citizen at the age of 92.
It was a wonderful ceremony, very exciting, and even more emotional than I thought it would be. Becoming a US Citizen was a dream come true and a very BIG DEAL for everyone in the family, especially for my Mamá Lilia.
On that bright and early summer morning at the LA Convention Center, 4,252 people from many nationalities took the Citizenship Oath and said the Pledge of Allegiance in front of their family and friends. I was sitting along with my Mom and we were next to a man from India and a lady from Vietnam, who were also there to witness their family members’ swearing in.
An interesting aspect of the ceremony was hearing the presiding judge explain the duties and responsibilities the new citizens must take on, including the right to vote and to defend their flag and country. (My grandmother couldn’t wait to turn in her voter registration, this woman wants to VOTE next year.) The judge also mentioned that this was a great ceremony were everybody always leaves happy. And he also explained that by becoming US Citizens, all of them were adding value to this wonderful country which is made up by immigrants. “We are ALL immigrants.” He noted that their citizenship in some ways was even more powerful because they chose to become citizens, even if they had to overcome the many hurdles of the process. They chose this country and decided that they want to contribute to this amazing land that we love.
I would say that there were around ten thousand people that morning. Ten thousand happy people, cheering for everybody. As we walked outside the hall, people began clapping for my Grandma all along the way. Like a rock star! A very nice feeling, actually. We were all proud and overjoyed for the accomplishment of our family members. Congratulations to all!