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.