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Citizenship

Posted by on July 4, 2015

I received this yesterday and I thought it is worth sharing with you all.
Lengthy but worth the read
Guy

Here is something well worth reading as the 4th of July approaches. It is good to remind ourselves every now and then that America has done a lot of good in this world over the past 200+ years. Many people gave their lives in the service of this ideal.

Citizenship as viewed by a Vietnamese Immigrant

On Saturday, July 24th, 2010 the town of Prescott Valley, AZ , hosted
a Freedom Rally. Quang Nguyen was asked to speak on his experience of
coming to America and what it means. He spoke the following in
dedication to all Vietnam Veterans. Here’s what he had to say.
________________________________
Thirty five years ago, if you were to tell me that I am going to stand
up here speaking to a couple thousand patriots, in English, I’d laugh
at you. Man, every morning I wake up thanking God for putting me and
my family in the greatest country on earth.

I just want you all to know that the American dream does exist and I
am living the American dream. I was asked to speak to you about my
experience as a first generation Vietnamese-American, but I’d rather
speak to you as an American.

If you hadn’t noticed, I am not white and I feel pretty comfortable
with my people. I am a proud US citizen and here is my proof. It took
me 8 years to get it, waiting in endless lines, but I got it, and I am
very proud of it.

I still remember the images of the Tet offensive in 1968, I was six
years old. Now you might want to question how a 6-year-old boy could
re member anything. Trust me, those images can never be erased. I
can’t even imagine what it was like for young American soldiers;
10,000 miles away from home, fighting on my behalf.

35 years ago, I left South Vietnam for political asylum. The war had
ended. At the age of 13, I left with the understanding that I may or
may not ever get to see my siblings or parents again. I was one of the
first lucky 100,000 Vietnamese allowed to come to the US. Somehow, my
family and I were reunited 5 months later, amazingly, in California.
It was a miracle from God.

If you haven’t heard lately that this is the greatest country on
earth, I am telling you that right now. It was the freedom and the
opportunities presented to me that put me here with all of you
tonight. I also remember the barriers that I had to overcome every
step of the way. My high school counselor told me that I cannot make
it to college due to my poor communication skills. I proved him wrong.
I finished college. You see, all you have to do is to give this little
boy an opportunity and encourage him to take and run with it. Well, I
took the opportunity and here I am.

This person standing tonight in front of you could not exist under a
socialist/communist environment. By the way, if you think socialism is
the way to go, I am sure many people here will chip in to get you a
one-way ticket out of here. And if you didn’t know, the only
difference between socialism and communism is an AK-47 aimed at your
head. That was my experience.

In 1982, I stood with a thousand new immigrants, reciting the Pledge
of Allegiance and listening to the National Anthem for the first time
as an American. To this day, I can’t re member anything sweeter and
more patriotic than that moment in my life.

Fast forwarding, somehow I finished high school, finished college, and
like any other goofball 21 year old kid, I was having a great time
with my life. I had a nice job and a nice apartment in Southern
California. In some way and somehow, I had forgotten how I got here
and why I was here.

One day I was at a gas station, I saw a veteran pumping gas on the
other side of the island. I don’t know what made me do it, but I
walked over and asked if he had served in Vietnam. He smiled and said
yes. I shook and held his hand. The grown man began to well up. I
walked away as fast as I could and at that very moment, I was
emotionally rocked. This was a profound moment in my life. I knew
something had to change in my life. It was time for me to learn how to
be a good citizen. It was time for me to give back.

You see, America is not just a place on the map, it isn’t just a
physical location. It is an ideal, a concept. And if you are an
American, you must understand the concept, you must accept this
concept, and most importantly, you have to fight and defend this
concept. This is about Freedom and not free stuff. And that is why I
am standing up here.

Brothers and sisters, to be a real American, the very least you must
do is to learn English and understand it well. In my humble opinion,
you cannot be a faithful patriotic citizen if you can’t speak the
language of the country you live in. Take this document of 46 pages –
last I looked on the Internet, there wasn’t a Vietnamese translation
of the US Constitution. It took me a long time to get to the point of
being able to converse and until this day, I still struggle to come up
with the right words. It’s not easy, but if it’s too easy, it’s not
worth doing.

Before I knew this 46-page document, I learned of the 500,000
Americans who fought for this little boy. I learned of the 58,000
names scribed on the black wall at the Vietnam Memorial. You are my
heroes. You are my founders.

At this time, I would like to ask all the Vietnam veterans to please
stand. I thank you for my life. I thank you for your sacrifices, and I
thank you for giving me the freedom and liberty I have today. I now
ask all veterans, firefighters, and police officers, to please stand.
On behalf of all first generation immigrants, I thank you for your
services and may God bless you all.

Quang Nguyen
Creative Director/Founder
Caddis Advertising, LLC
“God Bless America ”
“One Flag, One Language”
“One Nation Under God”
________________________________________

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