A very profound, emotional day

Miss D. and I are safely home, after an emotional roller-coaster of a day.

I became a US citizen this morning, as mentioned earlier.  I found it very moving and awesome, in the true sense of that word:  awe-some.  I’ve regarded myself as American in spirit for years, but this put the official seal on the process of becoming one, along with new citizens from 40 other nations (including, sitting next to me, a woman from Zimbabwe, who formerly lived in Bulawayo, a city I knew from previous visits.  We exchanged congratulations and memories of our former homes.)  As we shared the national anthem for the first time, I couldn’t hold back a tear.  It’s my anthem, too, now;  and even though I’ve sung it innumerable times before, somehow this time was very special.

I was astonished at how many emotions and memories rolled through my mind during the ceremony.  In my previous post, I said that I thought many memories of my deceased friends and colleagues from South Africa would be with me when I took the oath.  That was an understatement.  The emotions were very powerful indeed.  Miss D. says she’s heard others say something similar, if they came out of backgrounds of oppression and struggle, so I’m glad to know I’m not alone in feeling like that at a time like this.  I was truly surprised at how real my late friends seemed – not just memories, but almost tangible in their presence.  I hope they’re as happy as I am at present.

Thank you to all who sent congratulations, both here on this blog and via other means.  Well over 250 of you have done so, which makes me humbly grateful for so many friends and well-wishers.  Now, I guess it’s time to take a deep breath and get on with life – until the weekend, at any rate.  Old NFO and sundry other friends and blogging buddies are planning a citizenship party for me, which is attracting far more interest and enthusiasm from friends around the country than I’d imagined it would, and bids fair to get out of hand.  (Old NFO?  Out of hand?  Say it ain’t so!)  I might have to leave town temporarily, in sheer self-defense, if it gets much larger!



  1. Congratulations. Course it might me around much longer if the dems have there way, but still better than anywhere else.

  2. Congratulations! If we can just get a few more like you, we might be able to pull this country out of the horrendous tailspin we find ourselves in.
    I'm just say'in.

  3. Again, welcome.

    If you'll indulge me… I remember my very pregnant wife taking the oath, beaming ear to ear as she waved her American flag. I can only imagine you had that same grin.

  4. Congratulations! Welcome aboard.
    No pictures from the party – in Lawdog's circle they are known as "evidence".

  5. Hey Peter;

    Congratulations!!! With you being a "Naturalized" citizen, you actually had to get vetted and go through all the civic stuff that natural born Americans take for granted. I believe that you being from "Offshore" and your experiences really appreciate being an American Citizen. I know I do, after seeing what I saw while I was in the service overseas and my travels afterwards, I really appreciate being an American. Also major Kudo's to Ms Dorothy, this was a group effort and both of y'all should be proud. Again congratulations !!!!

  6. Those of us that lurk….who rarely post….are excited. First for you. Second, (and most important)……where and when is the party?? We are waiting (lurking) in the background.

  7. Mr. Grant, my most heartfelt congratulations. Your use of the word awe is perfectly appropriate.
    Speaking as one who was blessed to be born in this, the best country ever on the face of the earth, but who came of age in an era when it was stylish to despise it, and who had to get all the way into adulthood to understand the wrongness of all that, I can almost appreciate the depth of emotion you must have felt.
    Your writings of our great country and its unimaginably wonderful Constitution have always been something like loving. Gaining full citizenship is just a step further in that relationship.
    I have to confess, I got a bit choked up myself reading your paired posts.
    Good job, sir.

  8. Welcome to this country as a full fledged citizen. Although you have actually been a part of our country for much longer than just a day. As far as I am concerned, any one who contributes in a positive way to this nation is a citizen, at least in part. It is only those who take from the country without giving back who are actually a drain on America. There are many who come here for a better life, and who, although they did not follow the rules, and are technically illegal immigrants, don't try to take from us, but work hard, pay taxes, and keep their noses clean, raise their children to be good people, and support their neighbors and their church, and support the police and the law. Those people are the ones that we should worry about last. And perhaps even find a way for them to earn a way to citizenship.
    No matter how the rest of the citizenship thing is going, I still want to congratulate you and thank you for coming here the right way. And again welcome you and wish you nothing but the best of the so called American dream. Best of luck, my brother.

  9. Too cool – congratulations, Peter, and welcome to our dysfunctional family! It's still the best one in the world!

  10. Welcome Aboard, Sir!
    "Come In. This is Liberty Hall; you can spit on the mat and call the cat a bastard!".

  11. Congratulations again to you Peter and welcome aboard.
    There are some ceramonies that just seem to slap you up aside the head and grab your attention. On June 16, 1968 as I took the oath of allegience to become a member of the United States of Americas'Navy along with a roomful of other teenagers you could feel the power of that oath sweep over you, and you realize that this oath is something that is permenant and lasts as long as you live.
    Now I wonder why some politicians, and law enforcement who take the same basic oath do not understand that.

  12. I'm so glad for you Peter! I've read your blog for a couple of years now and am a fan, especially of your candidness into your own past and personal experiences. Thank you for writing and regaling us with your stories and jokes. They are valuable and appreciated. America has gained another great citizen.

  13. Congratulations Peter!
    It is truly one of the most emotional and awesome experiences. I was lucky to have been granted the US citizenship some years ago, and appreciate it every day.
    All the best!

  14. I'm a natural-born citizen, but I attended the naturalization ceremony for a sort-of niece a few years ago. Just watching it, I had tears in my eyes, and I have them again reading your description. It is a momentous occasion for all concerned.

    Again, congratulations and welcome!

  15. Congratulations and sympathies on becoming a Tax-paying US Citizen!:lol: Having gone the long hard road to be here, I understand now some of previous posts you have made concerning immigration. I look forward to more of your American Wisdom in the coming Campaign Season!

  16. After 30 years since my citizenship ceremony, I STILL can't recite the Pledge of Allegiance without choking up. Never finished it, but always felt it.

  17. My congratulations yesterday didn't post, so congratulations twice over!

    Tintinnabulations, apple pie, and ice cream! We are glad to have you.

  18. Apologies for the very tardy reply, having been off the grid for Mom's 90th birthday. Welcome!

    Of course, you are (based on my rather drugged out experience) 100% american already …

  19. Welcome to the tribe, Peter.

    It doesn't matter where you came from, for you are now an American.

  20. Welcome aboard.
    Based on talking to my coworkers, those who had to earn their US citizenship take it much more seriously than those who who were born here.
    Thank you for choosing to be American.

  21. Congratulations!! I'm glad I felt the need to check your blog today, Mr. Grant, and I'm delighted to hear this news! God bless, and (clichรฉ alert) welcome to the club! ๐Ÿ™‚

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