Thankful Tears

Who would have thought the Today Show would have inspired a couple of items for my Thanksgiving list? Friday’s show carried the ceremony for a group of people who took the oath of allegiance to the United States, their final step toward citizenship. They came from North and South America, Asia, Africa, and Europe. Several took the oath in American military dress, already serving our country as soldiers. One had a row of his buddies sitting on the side in attendance, looking sharp in their uniforms, supporting him on his big day.

I was struck by the multiplicity of ages and ethnic groups represented – a beautiful variety that will add to the mosaic that is America.

One young woman caught and held my attention with a wide smile she wore throughout the festivities right up to the moment when Lee Greenwood began to sing, “I’m proud to be an American . . .” Then her tears flowed right down through her smile. To be honest, I shed a couple myself.

These new citizens have reminded me to add gratitude for my own citizenship to my thankful list. I sometimes take for granted the privileges and freedom that are part of my life every day. I have little knowledge of my many-generations-removed Scotch, English, and Scotch Irish ancestors and the difficulties they must have faced in their journey to America or in their early days making a life in their new country.

Now that my attention has been gained, I will add to my list (1) thankfulness for my American citizenship and (2) gratitude for the beautiful reminder by these new United States citizens.