Simona's Blog posts February 16, 2018

Becoming an American Citizen

February 14th is traditionally known to be a day filled with flowers, chocolates and shared love stories. This year, instead of celebrating a customary Valentine’s Day, I commemorated a NEW event in my life, I became a US CITIZEN!

After living in the Unites States for nearly 14 years, last May I finally made the decision to apply for citizenship and make this country my official home.

I still remember the first time I landed in the United States. People were so warm and friendly, and I never felt uneasy or unwelcomed in this country. Needless to say, becoming a full fledged US citizen wasn’t a hard decision to make.

I checked in at the Homeland Security Office at 8:15 am. We, all the applicants, were grouped together, just waiting to be called for check in.

After check in, we went downstairs into the auditorium, where families and friends were already there, seated, waiting for us. Applicants seats were assigned and we were directed into our rows, eagerly awaiting for what was going to happen next.

The director of the Seattle Homeland Security office spoke to 76 applicants from 36 different countries who were waiting to be officially naturalized! When they called our country of origin we stood, and they told us that the next time we sat, it would be as Americans. We recited the Oath of Allegiance with our right hands raised in the air, watched and listened to President Trump’s message, and then sat as new American Citizens! Woot Woot!!!!

What a GREAT experience!!!
This day will always be an extremely emotional and important day in my life. I was so impressed by the number of people gathered together and swearing their allegiance to their new country. I am sure this event meant many different things to the many different people that participated in the ceremony. As for myself, I have grown roots here, in Oak Harbor, and have no plan to leave in the foreseeable future. I decided to become an American citizen and to honor this country which had given me a home.
Now, every time the Pledge of Allegiance will be recited or the Star Spangled Banner be sung, I won’t feel left out. I will proudly stand up and put my right hand over my heart.