The Day I became an American.
Why did I choose America….well, it is hard for most Americans to understand this because you were all born here but for the rest of the world America is “magic.” The streets are paved with gold and such. So the guys and I, we were prepared to have our minds being blown while living here. In a lot of ways our thinking was true. There are a lot of incredible things here. Don’t get me wrong, Sudbury is pretty great too! It is pretty cool and it’s really pretty hip. There’s a real artistic community there and the people are really politically active. Toronto, as well, was a real major class city.
America though, its just there’s a real magic to. All the legends that I grew up listening to are from here. I remember the first time I
was in Los Angeles and I was walking down Hollywood Boulevard, I saw what was Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and I thought, “Holy cow! I’ve seen that movie a hundred times. I also drove up into Laurel Canyon and there’s Joni Mitchells house! It is just mind blowing.
I was just as devastated as everyone else the day we were attacked. I realized then that I wasn’t Canadian anymore – I was an American! At the same time, the right wing had started talking about deporting legal residents for parking offenses and stuff like that. I immediately thought – hey that’s me! I can’t continue on as an illegal resident anymore, I better go get my citizenship. I had wrote a letter to Senator Tom Harkins office and his office then kind of greased the wheels on getting the citizen application process going and it took about seven or eight months for me to complete the entire process. I was really lucky because typically the process can take a year or so.
I remember going in to take my citizenship test. It was really kind of hilarious. They have a computer screen that I couldn’t see and from that screen they would ask you a question and your answer it. They would just click the answer and ask another question and you answer it again. I mean the questions were everything from what are the stars and stripes and what do they mean to who is the current house of representatives guy or what’s the separation of powers. Just all of this stuff about America. I had lived here so long and I read like a maniac so I knew all the answers. I remember finally she stops and she said “Ok, we’ve gone through nine screens and you haven’t made a mistake yet I think we can stop.”
So I received a letter several weeks later and they said you have to do all these things like bring in the paperwork, have your picture taken and so on, and then on August 4th, 2002 I was sworn in. After 29 years of being here in America I became a legal citizen.
“So we all went and watched him get sworn in at the courthouse. It was a really happy day.” – Audrey