Greenwich Meridian: Where East meets West
By Emma Palova
Lowell, MI – Today, during my morning writing session, I ventured into our U.S. naturalization, as well as answering the most important question for a writer.
How has America changed me?
I have broadened my horizons from a naïve person with a narrow perspective on the evils of capitalism to a responsible American citizen, who votes and participates in democracy. Rather than complaining about things, I take action to change them, when possible as in the case of my authorpreneurship.
I am proud to be a part of the Michigan Authors movement sweeping the shores from Lake Michigan to Lakes Huron & Superior. See http://michiganauthors.com/
I was naturalized in August of 1999 in a beautiful ceremony at the Gerald R. Ford Museum in Grand Rapids along with 96 other people from around the world. I received congratulations from all over Michigan, because the Associated Press syndicated the story about my naturalization written by Kara Henigan for the Ionia Sentinel-Standard. Here is an excerpt from the Ionia Sentinel-Standard Aug. 19, 1999.
Emma Palova of Lowell, was among the new naturalized American citizens. She tells other people’s stories for a living as a writer for the Sentinel-Standard, but on this day, she shared her own tale, a tale of a dream fulfilled.
“The United States has always symbolized freedom for me, coming from an oppressed, communist country,” she said. “And it still does, otherwise I wouldn’t be here.”
Citizenship was not a necessity for her livelihood.
“It was my goal and my dream,” she said. “It is kind of a closure.”
My husband Ludek was naturalized last year in October, also at the Gerald R. Ford Museum. Ludek takes his citizenship very seriously, and always asks me about candidates, proposals and follows the debates.
The story about his naturalization appeared in the Lowell Ledger on Oct. 24, 2018.
At his ceremony, magistrate Hon. Ray Kent congratulated the new citizens with these words:
“Write the next great chapter in the history of this country.”
That statement is still ringing in my ears as I write this chapter of the memoir. Ludek has already voted in the last school election. Voting is a privilege. Back in communist Czechoslovakia, we could only vote for one party- the Communist Party. It defeated the purpose of voting at all.
Tomorrow I will dive into the tentacles of the Velvet Revolution in 1989, led by dissident playwright late Vaclav Havel.
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