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Friday, June 15, 2007

Like a New Birth of Freedom

Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth President of th...Image via Wikipedia

Oddly enough, one of the most important events of my life occurred on a day that I don't remember, just as no one remembers their own birth. I do remember that my parents had been studying, with my help, for their citizenship examination. The examination turned out to be very easy (with questions such as, "Who is the President of the United States," President Eisenhower having been the correct answer then). My parents had no trouble satisfying the requirements, and they became naturalized American citizens.

Being 13 years old at the time, however, I was more interested in the fortunes of my beloved Brooklyn Dodgers, who, as luck would have it, won the World Series later that year for the very first and, sadly, only time. As I recall, the Dodgers won the first two games against their arch rival New York Yankees, then lost the next three. But, incredibly, they managed to come back from the 3-2 deficit (never before accomplished in a World Series) to win the last two games of the seven game series. The New York Daily News hailed their accomplishment on their front page with a full-page cartoon of a bum and the headline, "WHO'S A BUM!" My full year of happiness, however, was terminated the very next year, when the Yankees took their revenge on the Dodgers in only the second time that a series was decided by a team winning the first two games; losing the next three; and winning the final two.

I became a naturalized citizen of the United States by derivation from my parents' own naturalization on May 13, 1955. Being a minor at the time, American Citizenship was granted to me through the action of my parents — like "a new birth of freedom."

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