Proud to be an American
Being a citizen of the United States has different meanings to each and every one of us. To some it means a new beginning and a better life; to others it's just a place called home.
In 1976, when she was 19, my mom came to America. She was looking for adventure and freedom. She met my dad, got married and moved to New Mexico with him. Then she got her green card.
Many years later I sat at the Convention Center like a proud parent in the audience at my mom’s naturalization ceremony. It had been over a year since she had started the process to become a citizen. I had never felt more proud to be siting there.
I thought back to the many days and nights I spent with my mom helping her study, seeing her make
flash cards and quizzing her. It was an interesting role reversal for me of helping her study for her test as she had helped me countless times with my homework and tests for school. Just as she once sat in the audience for many school achievement ceremonies, now I sat in the audience for one of the biggest things my mom ever did.
When we arrived at the convention center, we were surprised by the number of people there. The line to check in was so long that you could not see the other end, almost going into the hallway leading to the parking garage. As we stood there, I looked around at the assortment of people. I wanted to know everyone's stories. There were two young girls in front of us. I spied over their shoulders. I could see that the one of them had a Vietnamese passport. We later found out that only one of them was becoming a citizen; the other girl was her friend, there with her on this auspicious occasion. Behind us was an older man, he was alone; he was from Mexico. Behind him was a younger man with his kid and what I assume were his mother, father and friends; they were from Argentina. You could see how excited and nervous everyone was. They were all welldressed, after all this was a court proceeding.
Finally we made it to the front of the line and my mom checked in; she had to give up her green card, the one which had the face of my 19yearold mom. After all these years she had the same one that was originally issued to her. Then, my dad and I parted ways from my mom. The rest of us, plus friends of the family, made our way to our seats. The people becoming citizens went to their assigned seats.
It was great to see so many people there supporting their family members at the ceremony. There were so many people at the ceremony that it was a standing room only affair. It looked like almost all of the seats on stage were taken up. My dad and I theorized about the number of people filling the huge ballroom.
The ceremony began. Acclaimed visitors and speakers were introduced, and the judge took her place. She said that even though this was a court proceeding, that it was informal and we could get up and take pictures of our loved ones. She talked about how this was one of her favorite cases because it was for such a happy occasion. The judge talked about her family’s origins and told the story of how they got here.
Next, a lawyer took the podium and made a moving speech. He spoke about many things, including how hard everyone had worked to be there that day, the importance of family and the "American Dream". Usually I roll my eyes at this kind of stuff but, this day, this speech was different; it had so much meaning and its tone of acceptance was moving. I definitely teared up during it. The lawyer also reminded the audience how important this ceremony was and how happy he was to see everyone there, saying that America was built by immigrants, that what makes us great is our diversity. He encouraged people not to forget about where they come from and to pass on their culture to their kids so that it would not be lost. One of the last things he discussed was about how children are our future; how they will keep building and maintain our country.
After the speech the judge returned to the podium. She told the audience that there were over 130 people becoming citizens, and that they were from over 35 different countries. Then she recognized every country by having the people stand up when she said each nation’s name. Some of the countries included Mexico, Cuba, Germany (where my mom is from), Russia, England, Canada, Iran, Iraq, China, and South America.
For the participants to fully become a citizen, they had to say the Pledge of Allegiance and then take an oath. The time had finally come. Then, the audience was given a short time to go and find their loved ones and take photos. After that there was a video message from President Obama and citizenship was bestowed. Finally, joy and pride radiated througout the room, I have never felt more proud to be an American that I did at that moment.
The Daily Word in Florida, Road Closures and Lurking
God may enrich these states with the legality of a certain herb this coming November.
Omelette du fromage is the only French 90s kids need to know.
Did you notice Trump was kind of lurking behind Clinton during the debate?
The James Boyd trial ended in a hung jury.
The President weighs in on why Star Trek is so important.
Traffic on Central was shut down for awhile today because a man was throwing things at cars from a roof.
Florida's voter registration time has been extended till Oct. 18.
The Daily Word in New Rhinos, Men's Undies and Nixon's Jim Crow Laws
Have you heard of the “New Jim Crow”?
This lady is a real shitty date.
What’s worse than untested rape kits put in storage for years? Destroying them.
I envision a large white man foaming at the mouth, spitting every time he speaks. His eyes are bloodshot and a vein in his neck is popping out as he yells that women are Satan’s catalyst; that’s what I see when I imagine an anti-abortion conference, but what is it really like?
Whenever I hear people say things like these bullshit responses, my eyes roll into the back of my head as I scream with the fury of every teen girl (which is infinite).
Yay for new rhinos!
Aerie is creating a new market for body positivity for everyone.
The Daily Word in real estate, fracking and affirmative action
A Northeast Albuquerque area bicyclist has died after a hit-and-run last night. APD is looking for information.
Albuquerque Business First says that Fortune magazine claims Trulia real-estate data shows the Albuquerque metro area is the worst place to own a home. You heard it here fourth.
A mailman was shot at by another motorist for "giving him a bad look."
Everybody's favorite new method for extracting hydrocarbons, "fracking," may be coming to Rio Rancho.
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia made some pretty racist remarks regarding affirmative action. That's probably the greatest argument that could be made about institutionalized racism in our country and the need for affirmative action.
The Daily Word in Bill Cosby, cops taking people's stuff, and rocket-powered Frenchmen
A Las Cruces city attorney offered tips on how police departments can make more money: Just take people’s stuff, even if they’re not guilty of a crime. “It’s a gold mine!” he said. “We could be like Czars!”
One of the controversial and soon-to-be-dissolved Mars Hill Church’s leaders will soon be holding services in Albuquerque.
Noted comedian and possible rapist Bill Cosby just discovered that a lot of people think he’s probably a rapist.
And behold! The world’s fastest bicycle-mounted Frenchman!
The Daily Word in lapel videos, paranoid Googlers and cricket chips
It's Wednesday, May 7th,
and Governor Susanna Martinez, tireless crusader against conflicts of interest in government, is holding a high-powered fundraising dinner for her re-election bid at the home of a lobbyist in Maryland,
following a take-over of the last meeting, City Councilors in Albuquerque are taking steps to keep too much democracy from interfering with the next one,
and APD released footage of their most recent shooting— they only show the moments after the suspect was already dead, but at least we now know that officers properly handcuffed the corpse.
a new study shows that Google users are increasingly worried about the NSA logging their searches and are therefore avoiding the use of "trouble words" like "nuclear facility" and "organized crime,"
a Kickstarter campaign for "cricket chips"—-which are exactly what they sound like--met and surpassed its goal,
and physicists smashed a bunch of atoms together and created the 117th known element. They call it "element 117."
Have a great day!
The NAACP is suing the city
Yesterday, the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People filed a discrimination lawsuit in District Court against the city of Albuquerque. It accuses the city of treating African-American employees differently on the basis of race.
The lawsuit charges that the city does not promote African-American workers, pays them less and asks extra work of them without compensation. They are also subject to harassment and intimidation, according to the lawsuit.
The city demands that African-American employees “perform menial and demeaning tasks,” states the lawsuit, and requires them “to adhere to unwritten policies and procedures” that don’t apply to other city workers. “This conduct is continuing and is pervasive,” according to the suit.
In June, the NAACP filed a discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a national agency that ensures federal discrimination laws are enforced. In September, the commission told Albuquerque’s NAACP that it was within its rights to take the issue to court.
The African-American employees of the city will be represented as a class by the Law Office of Brad Hall. The suit says they’ve suffered “loss of income and benefits, damage to their reputation, severe emotional distress, [and] disruption of their career,” among other things.
The Daily Word 4.29.11
Morocco cafe bomb, dolphin podcast, Superman's citizenship
Terrorist attack shreds a Morrocan cafe.
Meteorologists showed live footage of tornadoes approaching.
New regulations aimed at food marketing to help reign in childhood obesity.
Del Norte high school football coach popped for second DWI.
Nearly half a million dollars misused around an NHCC fresco causes scandal.
Hilarious minor differences illuminated by The Oatmeal.
Some researchers say dolphins are too smart for captivity.
Kia Motors recalls cars whose gas tanks fall off.
Malfunction delays space shuttle launch.
National Institutes of Health get favorable ruling on stem cell research.
gettin you out of jams
if you are in a bad place, like, lets say
you are a waiter and you had a bad night
or need a reference
below please note sample
of letter we will write for you:
Thank you for your letter of _________________, in which you described your experience in _________________. I can certainly understand your feelings of _________________.
I have spoken to the person you dealt with and informed _________________ that such behavior is totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated in the future.
Please accept my apology for the treatment you received. We strive to maintain a high level of customer service, but letters like yours remind me that we still have a ways to go.
I'm sorry that you had such a bad experience, and I hope that you will give us another chance.
Jon Forrest Little
Here is another sample letter we will write for you.
I just got off the phone with my client, _________________. I spent half an hour listening to _________________ scream at me about how _________________ intends to close _________________ account and take _________________ business elsewhere. Apparently, while I was gone, _________________ was put through to you for an answer to a question about _________________.
_________________, if we lose this account, we all lose. If I can't soothe _________________ into coming back, believe me, _________________ is not going to give _________________ business to you. I don't know exactly what you said to _________________, or whether _________________ misinterpreted your words or your tone of voice. But whatever occurred, damage was done during that conversation, and we need to rectify it.
I have asked _________________ to be present during a meeting between you and me at which we can discuss this situation and see what might yet be salvaged. Please be in _________________'s office at _________________.
Jon Forrest Little
The Most Important Cases in America
Albuquerque lawyer defends Guantánamo prisoners—and our justice system
Nancy Hollander's been fighting the government since she was a teenager.
Code violations at the old Westside jail prevent its use as an emergency summer sanctuary
Joy Junction is turning away between five and nine men every night, says Jeremy Reynalds, the shelter's founder and CEO. He says the economy is spitting out more folks than Joy Junction can take in. "We are seeing more people."