May 24, 2012 will always be an important date in Andy’s life story. Born and raised in Germany, this is the day our son-in-law added United States citizenship to his German citizenship. To do so, he worked his way through the required paperwork, passed a test, and took the Oath of Allegiance.* Our family celebrated over lunch around the backyard picnic table last Sunday. His gift? An American flag – a symbol of “the land of the free and the home of the brave!”
I loved to sing in the school chorus in elementary school in the 1960's. Our concert itinerary included “Let There be Peace on Earth,” along with “The New Colossus,” words engraved on the Statue of Liberty written by Emma Lazarus in 1883. I still remember the lyrics (along with the melody):
"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-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
*Naturalization Oath of Allegiance to the United States of America:"I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the armed forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God."