Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Miss Lilly on the 4th of July

Miss Lilly on the July 4th

To most people, fireworks, barbeques, beaches, backyards, family, and friends, that’s what July 4th represents. Sometimes we forget while watching the rockets red glare and the sparkling white shooting stars that the reason for the red, white, and blue is our freedom.

With talk of so many illegal aliens in our country, those who come here legally are sometimes forgotten. My friend, Miss Lilly became a United States citizen on the 4th of July at City Center in Seattle with five hundred and fifty-one other immigrants from eighty-two nations.

Lilly’s husband Vern was out of state caring for his father so Rita, Angie, Cis, Mike, and I went to support our friend. Lilly was born in China and is an accomplished businesswoman and teaches Chinese at Western Washington University. She is sweet and caring with a flair for cooking and sharing her elaborate meals with friends.

I felt privileged to be invited to watch Lilly become an American citizen. The girls left Bellingham at 7:00 AM laughing and sharing stories all the way to Seattle. We arrived before our arrange time of 10:00 AM to get Lilly registered and in place before the ceremony began at 11:00 AM and Mike arrived to join us. The Army band played an array of military themes and John Philip Souza marches amongst the red, white, and blue balloons dancing on strings tied to railings and all the well wishers waving tiny American flags. Cis made a run to the store the night before to pick up flags so we would all have one and Angie snapped photos to commemorate the event. Dignitaries made speeches and then immigration and naturalization made their presentation and a judge made it official. Lilly had to sign her final papers after the ceremony and then it was official, she was an American. Lilly made a choice and a commitment to become an American and something to be proud of the rest of her life.

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