Letter: Inspired by new citizens, Haitian spirit

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I attended my fourth naturalization ceremony on Jan. 15 and was witness to another student’s big step into U.S. citizenship. It is truly an honor to witness these events; I never tire of them and I never say no. I am typically the only person there for that particular student, and although it is sad that no one else is there for them to celebrate, I am privileged to be invited and grateful to be able to attend to give them support and congratulations. It is truly an honor.

This time, I was particularly struck by the realization that all of us in that room were safe from the tragedy in Haiti. While we may have our daily challenges, I sat there knowing I could not even imagine the horror and devastation that these people of the tiny country of Haiti are experiencing. Already in poverty and with limited resources, their lives were a challenge; right now it seems overwhelming and yet many of them sing, pray and give thanks for what they have. Their courage to go on, their bravery to endure, and their faith in the belief that they can survive is remarkable.

Let us all give thanks for family, faith and friends; let us remember all that we have, all those who have so much less, and all the work there is to do to make this world a better place. May we all do our part to that end.

Rosemarie De Angelis
South Portland