Saturday, March 13, 2010

Welcome, Citizen Iain

Iain McEwan, the husband of Shakesville founder of Melissa McEwan, became a citizen of the United States yesterday.

Those of us who are born here rarely get a chance to see what it’s like to become a naturalized citizen of the United States. It takes dedication, money, and a lot of time, and you’ve got to want it to get it. That is a form of patriotism that goes far beyond the flag-waving at a parade on the Fourth of July and the chest-thumping of “We’re Number One!” at a hockey game. (And I wonder how many of us could pass the test.)

The promise that this country and its citizens offers to people who come here is based on the understanding that they will keep up their end of the contract: they will contribute to the betterment of each of us. Citizenship is not a free ride, nor is it a parade, and when someone from Scotland or Namibia or Canada or South Korea or Cuba or Mexico or China or the Netherlands or Portugal or St. Kitts spends the time and treasure to join us, it enriches us all.

Welcome and congratulations, Iain.