Citizenship should inspire us

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 9, 2010

A few American-born residents chose to take their own freedom away Wednesday, while another group relished in the very idea of living in our great land of the free.

Perhaps the shooting in broad daylight with bystanders present at Riverbreeze Apartments is a sad commentary on our country.

Or maybe that’s going too far. Regardless, the men involved in the incident will have to face a judge who will likely limit at least some portion of their freedom if they’re found guilty of the alleged crime.

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Twenty-one people faced another judge at the federal courthouse with a far better outcome Wednesday morning.

Those people, born in China, India, Ukraine and Vietnam, among other countries, became Americans.

Judge John Roper told the new citizens, “You have the opportunity to do anything you want, and your children have the opportunity to do whatever they want.”

Roper’s words and the emotions of our newest Americans should remind us all how lucky we are and how thankful to God we should be.

Capturing and administering just an ounce of the spirit in the courtroom Wednesday should be enough to stop the shootings and other senseless crimes in our community, we think.

Our country is so blessed. That’s easy to see in the eyes of a new American citizen. Yet many of us take those blessings for granted and are willing to toss away that precious freedom over the silliest of problems.