I believe in the promise of America. It did not start that way. I grew up in Australia when all Australians were profoundly grateful for the armed forces of the U.SA. who helped turn back the Japanese invasion. At thirteen I remember where I was when President Kennedy was killed. In the sixties I was an anti war demonstrator. Slowly my view of America changed, from respect and hope to despair, outrage and finally apathy. By the late 1970’s I gave up business and was a social worker and moved to England. By the early 1980’s I realized I should return to my love of business. Fate works in mysterious ways. In 1982 just before a return trip to Australia, out of the blue the airline called asking if I might like to stay in San Francisco on my return flight to the UK! My flight was over booked. I had never really contemplated visiting America, after all the news stories of ‘muggings’ I was actually scared I might be mugged going from the plane to the terminal, but I went ahead and got a visa.
On arrival a fellow passenger shared his limo and I made friends the very first night. A few weeks later I told my girl friend in England to sell my car, I had decided to stay in America. Life has been good to me in this country. A couple of years later after some entrepreneurial ups and downs I met Julie who became my wife (an Iowa girl). She quit her film producing job to be a mom and I continued working. That was over twenty years ago. We have had our ups and downs, but we have two wonderful boys and share our views on everything and found we think alike on most things. Julie told me early in our marriage to stay Australian “in case America ever goes fascist and we can escape to Australia”. We laughed about it over the years and as we thought alike I convinced myself that her vote was as good as mine. That is until the federal election of 2000, where the fate of the nation was being determined by the slimmest of margins at the precinct level in Florida. What has happened since is history, but I decided that I did need to vote, I believed in America and even when it was down I thought the true patriots would and should stand up. Around the time of my birthday last year I became an American Citizen, much to my surprise I was moved by the ceremony and my new fellow citizens. I then registered to vote.
I look back with great irony, where I was and where I have come, one small citizen in Boise, Idaho, USA. Proud to be a citizen of a country that has come along way, and like me, has made mistakes and stumbles but continues to foster great promise. I feel fortunate to be part of this great enterprise.
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