Well the day is approaching. Yesterday I received my notification in the mail that my citizenship swearing in will occur August 7th. It has been a long process and one with a lot of struggle. After all who wants to become an American when the economy seems to be sinking like a rock and the US dollar is devalued daily?
The final challenge was having to say No when I was asked would I be willing to bear arms for the good old USA. The thought of bearing arms against anyone is anathema to me and I could not bring myself to say yes. Having seen up close the atrocities of war and worked with those who have been the victims of war I think that war in any form is evil, condoning it even to become a citizen just was not something I could do. Fortunately all it meant was that I needed to write a letter stating my objections but it made me wonder how many say yes and are afraid to speak up for what they believe.
So why am I becoming an American? First because I don’t expect that I will leave here any time soon and having lived here for 16 years I think it is time. Also I want to be able to vote and at least add my small voice to keeping out another president like George Bush. There are other ways too in which I would like to be able to raise my voice that I have felt unable to do as a “resident alien.” At times I have truly felt like a voiceless, faceless entity and I can only be a “voice for the voiceless” if I am able to speak out.
Will I give up bing an Australian? – No in fact I feel more Australian than ever these days. I think that this process has given me more confidence in who I am as a person and the US is a richly diverse cultural gathering of people. I am glad to be able to contribute to it.