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March 22, 2014
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Value being an American


Some of those people who wondered why I was wearing red, white and blue on March 17th instead of green deserve an explanation. I have no problem about being Irish, or anything else, for a day and do not dislike the Irish, but March 17 has a different meaning for me. I arrived in the USA in 1947 as a stateless person due to circumstances in Europe, immediately applied for citizenship and, due to a coincidence, was sworn in as a citizen on March 17, 1953. I had been drafted for service in 1950 — aliens were then not permitted to volunteer — and spent most of my two years of service in Germany, my country of origin, as member of the 4th Infantry Division. I have now been a U.S. citizen for more than 60 years and that is more important to me than pretending to be Irish for one day.

March 17 is my U.S. Citizen’s Day; I am proud and happy to wear red, white and blue to celebrate that.

Pete Harding


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The Record Courier Updated Mar 22, 2014 06:34PM Published Mar 22, 2014 06:34PM Copyright 2014 The Record Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.