Let's count our blessings as American citizens on July 4th and DISPLAY A FLAG either in front of your houses or stores, if you are the store owner. THANK YOU.
The Real Meaning of Being a Naturalized Citizen
What follows is one of my most popular e-newsletters. I always get lots of comments on it from my fellow AsAms. So I'm re-publishing it on July 4th, our national day.
I was born in Shanghai, China. On my own volition, I applied to become a US citizen. On the day of the naturalization ceremony in 1972, there was deep emotion - internal conflicts, probably not different from those of most others. The enlightening words of the presiding judge, Vincent Bifferato helped me understand what being a naturalized citizen is all about, and made me a good American. Here is the essence of what he said.
"Future Fellow Citizens of the U.S.A.,
You probably harbor a mixed feeling today. You may be happy because you wanted to be a U.S. citizen, and today you've achieved this wish. On the other hand, you may also be sad, because you may feel that you are saying good-bye to all that you once identify with - the people back in your old country, whose hopes and dreams you once shared. You may even be distraught, because years ago when you first came to this country, you thought you were getting an education or a career to later go back to help your people. Now you feel that you are saying good-bye to that part of yourself.
Let me assure you that you don't need to stop caring for or helping the
people in your old country. If one ceremony, like the one today, can make you turn your back to the people whom you once cared deeply about, the U.S. doesn't want you as a citizen. The U.S. is a greater nation than that. America, a nation of immigrants. It knows that individuals, who can turn their backs to their people instantly after one ceremony, can turn their back to Americans in another day. Instant loyalty to America doesn't imply good citizenship. Take your time to know your new country. Examine America's core values. Experience America's sense of liberty, justice and equal opportunity. America is NOT perfect. It may not live up to its words 100%, and will need your input and tender-loving care to help make it "a more perfect union" as our forefathers had hoped. At the end, I feel certain that you will get to like America and perhaps love it. ....
Fellow citizens: Now that you are each a citizen of your new country, you owe your primary allegiance to America. However, you can continue to care for and help people in your old country. Welcome. Good luck to all of you."
After the ceremony was over, I complimented Judge Bifferato for his extraordinary understanding of human nature which greatly comforted a new citizen like me. He smiled and said "Yes, you can continue to care for & help people in your old country, but you paid a price for that privilege. You are not allowed to be a president or a VP of the U.S.A. With a twinkle in his eyes, he said America's forefathers understood human nature deeply, which might be why they came up with one of the best political systems in the world.
Judge Bifferato and I became good friends. When I was Delaware's Lt. Governor, he invited me to be the keynote speaker in one of those naturalization ceremonies. I essentially gave the speech that I heard from him about 15 years before. He has passed away. I still correspond with his son.
Please display a flag tomorrow. Post your views here. Donate
S. B. Woo
President and a volunteer for the past 20 years
80-20 Educational Foundation, Inc, a 501 C-3 organization,