A cure for what ails us: The new Americans

Tim Nelson | MPR News

John Reinan’s fine article in the Star Tribune today on a naturalization ceremony in Richfield is the cure for what ails us.

Nothing can make an American feel prouder of the country than to hear the stories of people who risked lives and left families for a better place. Ours.

“I feel so happy, so good, so excited,” said Paw Da Eh, a 22-year-old Roseville resident and student at St. Paul College. “I had no country, no rights. I can’t describe what I feel right now.”

The kid was born in a Thai refugee camp. Now she’s an American through courage and persistence

Like hundreds of others, Paw waited a lifetime to say these words:

I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.

“We are a better country now than we were five minutes ago,” U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank told the new Americans. “We are better with you than without you.”

You know who makes us worse off? The Star Tribune comments section.

Shame on them and the local newspaper that gives them a megaphone.

The next non-courtroom naturalization ceremony will be March 1 at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul at 10 a.m.