Saturday, July 18, 2009

Congratulations, Dalia!

It is a pleasure so soon after the 4th of July, our Independence Day, to welcome someone who has just become a citizen of the United States of America.

Dalia is a friend and coworker at Affordable American Insurance. Here she is, with her three children, in front of Mt. Rushmore, a symbol of the best this country has to offer.

Dalia had been studying and preparing for citizenship for years. Finally last week, her dream became a reality in a ceremony in which she, along with about 280 others from 75 countries, were officially naturalized citizens of the United States.

I have always been proud of the fact that ours is a nation of immigrants, welcoming new citizens from around the world. We have been greatly enriched by that process. We have provided sanctuary for the oppressed, economic opportunity for the disadvantaged, and hope for the downtrodden. In return, our nation has been greatly blessed by the hard work and creativity of our newest citizens.

Welcome, Dalia. We hope you are as blessed to be here as we are to have you here!

My family has only been in this land for a few generations, so I too am a beneficiary of the largesse of a nation that opens its heart to the world with these immortal words, engraved on a bronze plaque, mounted inside the Statue of Liberty:

The New Colossus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
Emma Lazarus, 1883


Bonnie said...

How exciting !!

Congratulations, Dalia !!!

A Captured Reflection said...

How cool. Do you get the programme there "Who do you think you are?" it's a genealogical program, with celebrities tracking down their ancestors and often times they find themselves visiting Russia, the Settlement of Pale (wonder if that's where the saying Beyond The Pale comes from) and stories of bravery and determination for a better life in a new country. Where do your family originate from? Mine are 90% Mariners on all sides from the UK and France.