On Citizenship

I originally wrote this in my Rant of the Disenfranchised blog on Yahoo! 360. I repost it here for two reasons. First, I still feel this way, and second, not to pull my own string, but I think its a finely written post. I’d thought I’d share. Comments are welcome.

Entry for April 02, 2007

I was lying awake in bed and thinking of a few things. These are the things which keep me awake at night.

On Citizenship

What makes a citizen? Is it the location of your birth? Is it the god we worship? The flag we fly on our house so we are not accused of sympathizing with terrorists? Or is it something deeper? What makes a citizen?

I don’t know. Do you?

I know how the law defines it. If you were born in this country, you are a citizen. But, isn’t Citizenship more than the location of your birth? After all, there are many fine people who become Model American Citizens, even heroes, after immigrating to this country. Want an example?

Rick Rescorla.

“Who?” You might ask. Rick Rescorla was an American Hero. Even though he was not born in the US. He was born in Cornwall, UK. You can read more about Rick Rescorla by following this link: http://www.rickrescorla.com/index.html. The site was created by his widow, Susan Rescorla.

In brief: Rick Rescorla served in Vietnam with 2/7 Cavalry Regiment in the Battle of the Ira Drang in November 1965. Later in life, Mr. Rescorla served as the Head of Security at Morgan Stanley in Two World Trade Center. On the morning of 11 September 2001, Mr. Rescorla, along with his two Deputies, evacuated over 2,700 employees of Morgan Stanley before Two World Trade Center came down.

Mr. Rescorla and his two Deputies were killed on that day.

So, I ask again: Does the fact that Rick Rescorla being born in Cornwall, UK, mean he was not an upstanding American Citizen? I think he was a fine American, and a fine example of a Citizen of the World.

I want to point out that I’ve never met Mr. Rick Rescorla, General Hal Moore (Rescorla’s commanding officer in Vietnam) or anyone directly associated with him or his family. But I do know that he would have had a tremendous impact on their lives, if what I do know about him is true.

Mr. Rescorla is gone now, so we don’t have the luxury of asking him if he felt he was a Good American. But we do have over 2,700 people whom we can ask, “Do you think Rick Rescorla was a Model American Citizen?” And while I can’t presume to answer for any or all of them, I don’t think anyone whose life was saved that black day in September would argue the point that Rick Rescorla was anything but a Model American Citizen.

Please visit the link http://www.rickrescorla.com/index.html and learn about this American Hero. His service to this country spanned over five decades, and he deserves our respect and admiration.

Thank you Rick Rescorla. Rest in Peace, Sir. There are others to take up the call.

But, back to my origianl point: Is it a requirement that you be born in the United States to be considered a good American? I don’t believe this is the case. As the example of Mr. Rescorla I site above indicates, the country of your birth should not matter.

Therefore, I feel the Immigration Scare currently gripping this country is nothing more than an attempt by certain members of the government to grab more of our civil rights away from us and turn this country into a police state.

This bothers me a great deal, as I don’t want to live in a police state. If I did, I would move to Cuba. I don’t want to live in Cuba. Sure, it’s a nice place (so I’ve heard) but, I don’t want to live there.

So my message is this: Don’t let the fear generated by the Media lead you down the false path. Immigrants are not out to destroy our country, nor are they out to steal our homes and end our way of life. We are handling that last one just fine all by ourselves.

So what, for me, makes a good citizen? Simple. For me, it’s someone who looks out for others, sees the good in others, takes pride in their accomplishments (but doesn’t rub it into others’ faces). A good citizen is someone who knows when to think for themselves and make value judgments based on what she or he sees, and is not afraid to stand up for what they believe in.

But especially, a Good Citizen is someone who lets others live their lives, respects the privacy of his or her neighbors, and does not sucumb to the fear we live under.

Flags are optional.

This is just one of the things keeping me awake this morining.

It’s 3:15 AM. Do you know where your meat is?

If this touched you in any way, please leave a comment.


About WonderGoon

WonderGoon is seeking enlightenment and questions everything.
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