As I reflect on this Memorial Day, I cannot help but think of all the men and women who have gone before me and provided the ultimate service and sacrifice through our Military and Law Enforcement to preserve and protect my Freedoms as a United States Citizen. I am grateful that I live in such a great country that provides the freedoms, opportunities, and blessings that I have received. Many of my ancestors and your ancestors came to this country seeking a better way of life, and many have found ample opportunities and successes living in the United States.
Recently, I was blessed to be a witness to my Great Aunt being sworn in as a United States Citizen. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity for me, and I believe everyone should have the opportunity to experience this great achievement. As I witnessed, my aunt and sixty-one other canidates from twenty-two countries, raise their right hands and begin their oath of allegiance to the United States....
"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."
I couldn't help but find myself, wanting to raise my own right hand and repeat the common thread, which is part of the very same oath that I took when I was sworn in as an officer: "...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;..."
The oath I took goes on to say: "that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God."
This common thread or the taking of the "Oath" is required by all other government officials from the three branches of government, the military, and the States. It binds us to defend the Constitution, to establish Justice, insure peace and the welfare of our Country and to preserve and secure our blessings of liberty and freedom. It is something that I am very proud and honored to have taken and in a way binds me to those serving in our Military who sometimes make the ultimate sacrifice. Words cannot express the gratitude, I have for those who serve to protect my freedoms. May God Bless all those who defend our Constitution and way of life as United States Citizens. May we always honor them today and every day for their sacrifices. May God keep them safe.