On July 3rd at the Scera Center for the Arts, 13 individuals from 7 countries took the oath of allegiance and officially became U.S. citizens. Becoming a U.S. citizen is challenging and much more strenuous than any social studies class or civic education that natural-born citizens receive.
The event was especially moving because several of our new citizens shared their personal stories of how they had dreamed, worked, and sacrificed to gain citizenship in what they called the greatest nation in the world. One new American, originally from Bosnia, talked about his family struggling in war-torn Yugoslavia and how he had waited his entire life to say “God Bless America” as a U.S. citizen.
The love and appreciation each of the 13 had for this country was truly inspiring.
I had the honor of being the first elected official to welcome these fine individuals into our American family. I shared a few thoughts about what it means to be a citizen of this country and felt it would be fitting to share them with you.
Being a U.S. citizen is not a simple task; it is a process that demands dedication, perseverance, and an unwavering commitment to the values that define this great nation. Citizenship is not just a legal status. It is a lifelong commitment to upholding the principles that make America what it is—a beacon of freedom and a land of opportunity.
We just celebrated the 4th of July, which is both a fun yet sacred holiday where we commemorate the birth of our nation. This day is not just about fireworks and barbecues; it is a time for reflection and gratitude. It is a day when we honor the sacrifices of those who came before us, fought for our freedom, and laid the foundation for the unparalleled liberties we enjoy today.
Citizenship is not a one-time event but an ongoing journey requiring active participation and engagement. Please seize this great country’s opportunities and actively contribute to its continued progress and prosperity. Remember that your voice matters and your actions can make a difference in shaping the future of this nation, state, and city for good.
To this point, Primary Election Day is quickly approaching. Voting is one way to fulfill your duty as a citizen and keep our country strong. I encourage you to learn more about the issues and the candidates. Ballots will start hitting mailboxes on August 15th.
As we each learn and perform our duties as citizens, that will help us keep Orem a great place to live.
In closing, to echo my new friend and fellow American, God bless America! I’ll see you next month!