January 25, 2010

Another One on Our Side!

Back in the day, when I lived in Congo, I told Carl the Pilot that I had just recently become a naturalized American citizen. He immediately said "Yes! Another one on our side!" while pumping his arm in victory, with a large grin on his face.

I looked at him quizzically, and he explained that he was always excited to hear that good people became American. I laughed at this explanation, envisioning him as a captain in the Second World War, proud to find more recruits for the war, or perhaps a high-school team captain who gets to choose his teammates and picks the best of the bunch first.

Anyways, every time someone tells me they just got naturalized, I say "Yes! Another one on our side!"

My colleague's Albanian dad just passed the test (minutes ago), and of course, I sent her some congratulations, along with my usual motto.

For her though, it must be particularly special, as she and her siblings have been raising each other alone in the United States for more than 10 years, while her parents worked in Albania to provide them with a better future.


Astrogirl said...

By coincidence, some ex-South African friends just called to say they became American citizens today! Now I'll have to congratulate them with this new motto!

Anonymous said...

I hope you're out there converting the masses :)

FoggyDew said...

One of the most moving events I've ever been to was the swearing in ceremony for about 200 people from about 30 or so different countries as they became citizens. The one thing they all had in common? All of them were already wearing the uniform of their new country.

They were already on our side.

My verification word is "quixeno". Is that like a short, foolish quest?

Carl said...

I remember that day, and saying that too. Tell your friend's dad that for me also.

Maybe if I was the high-school team captain I wouldn't pick the best guys. I'd pick the people who were considered the least talented. That way after we worked and trained hard, there would be more glory for us after we beat all the rest.

That is the glory of the USA too. We take so many people who can't make it in their original countries and they make it here, and their children make it even bigger. That, is a victory.

Sorry 007, I get a little starry eyed about the team and the people who want to be part of it.

007 in Africa said...

Astrogirl, I'm glad the motto I stole from someone else is making its way across the nation!

Ammo, pfff, of course I'm converting the masses :)

FoggyDew, yes some people are really putting their necks on the line to become American - it's impressive. I was alone for the swearing in (didn't quite realize what a big deal it was, until I saw people with their families, teary eyed). Searched for the meaning of Quixeno, and couldn't find a definition...

Carl, your comment made me laugh... If Norman Rockwell were still alive, you'd definitely be one of his painting models!