When our ancestors came here they pledged an oath of allegiance to the United States and renounced any allegiance to their home country. Our ancestor’s came for a variety of reasons. They left their home countries seeking political and religious freedoms. They also came for economic reasons, jobs, and land opportunities. Before being let in the United States they were checked for contagious diseases, deformities, or if they were helpless in anyway. They must have a job or relative waiting for them in the United States. If they did not meet these requirements, they were turned away. Once here most wanted to become naturalized citizens.
The naturalization process back then was a three step process.
First step — to present himself to the court to file a declaration of intention to become a citizen. It had to be filed three years before he could be admitted to citizenship. It could be filed in any court – city, county, state, or federal.
Second Step – After three years and being a resident for at least five years, he again presented himself to the court in which his declaration of intention was filed. He filed a petition for citizenship with supporting affidavits, including witnesses’ statements in support of his residency claim, and an oath of allegiance. These are called his final papers.
The final step occurred when the court ordered him admitted to citizenship an issued a certificate of naturalization.
Our ancestors came here, to the land of opportunity, looking for a better life for themselves. They procured employment, learned English and became citizens It’s because they had the courage to leave their homelands and come here to a strange land, that I can live here in this great country today and enjoy freedom. They said an oath of allegiance and I Pledge Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America. I don’t know if each school day is started with the Pledge of Allegiance, like it was when I went to school, but it should be. It bothers me that we are so concerned with offending someone. Our ancestors who came here were proud to be Americans, they were not offended by our flag or traditions. They did not ask us to change our way of life or fly their homeland flag. I’m sure most of the people coming today feel the same way our ancestors did, but we seem to cater to a few who claim to be offended. If we look long and hard, we all can find something that offends us. Does that mean everyone else should change their ways? In the history of our great country, somethings needed to change, such as slavery. Our country makes changes when we need to, we are flexible. However, not everything needs to change. Some traditions need to stay the same. It’s the traditions that keep us grounded, make us feel safe, keep us moral. It’s a great diverse country, truly unique. I would not trade living here for any other place on earth.