Inside the Campbell Heritage Theatre
Originally from Canada, he has lived in the U.S. for well over a decade paying taxes but having no say in how his tax dollars are spent. So, imagine my shock when he told me he had secretly been studying to take the citizenship test! He was very diligent about learning the answers to the 100 questions about U.S. history and civics. He would be asked up to ten questions five of which he would have to answer correctly to pass the citizenship test. I'm happy to report he passed with flying colors!
So, a few months later on a beautiful summer day we headed over to the Campbell Heritage Theatre where he would take his citizenship oath of allegiance.
There were dozens of people there from all over the world. They had to line up in 4 rows in front of the building. He was way back in the far left row. You can't really see him unless you click to enlarge the picture above. If you do you can spot his blue shirt three quarters of the way back behind the man in the white t-shirt in the white shirt.
It was easier to spot him inside. Can you see him waving at me? I was up in the balcony with other family members and friends had to sit.
The ceremony took about 2 hours with several speakers, videos, the singing of our national anthem and the oath of allegiance.
Everyone rose to take the oath.
It was official. Everyone below was now a U.S. citizen! Hubby had asked me if I thought people would cry during the ceremony. I said maybe, especially if the person was from a war torn country like Iraq, Darfur or the Sudan. Turned out the man sitting beside him was from Iraq. But immigrating from Canada? Tears of joy might be a bit much. Life just isn't that rough for most people from Toronto. LOL
The entire ceremony was very inspiring. It was a formal reminder about how fortunate we all are to live here, especially for those of us who were fortunate to be born here.
Voting is something I've always tried to make the time to do because of the sacrifices made by our past veterans ensuring our freedoms. I think voting is one of the most significant rights we each possess because while voting may be a right, it and many of the daily freedoms we enjoy, are also privileges when compared to the way many people in other countries live with the fear of being persecuted, jailed or executed because of their political affiliations, religious beliefs or sexual orientation. Other are forced to accept they have no freedom to make decisions, speak their minds, be educated, work at certain types of jobs and that there is no guarantee they will receive a fair trial if criminal charges are ever brought against them... The list goes on and on.
Hubby's first "I Voted" sticker.
So vote. Don't passively sit back and let others make all of the decisions for you. Sure your candidate may lose or a proposition may not pass or fail the way you had hoped but making sure your voice is heard is as American as a hamburger, a Coke®, and a slice of apple pie. Which by the way is the dinner I took hubby out for to celebrate the night of his citizenship ceremony. He skipped the apple pie because he hates fruit pies but he had a hamburger, Coke® and a slice of chocolate silk pie :)
CLICK HERE to learn more about how to register to vote on the United States Elections Assistance Commission's website.