Had to get the posting out before I could properly pay attention to the beautiful video that Mrs. M posted below, because I had a feeling that it would touch something deep inside of me.
And it did.
And I’ll probably be rambling a lot from this point onwards. If I do, forgive me, but I want to get it all out.
I could start off by saying that the day I became an American, like Mr. Boye, was the happiest day in my life. That wouldn’t be true. The two happiest days in my life were when my wife said “I do” and the day when I first held my baby boys in my arms. The Oath will have to take third place there, but it’s a close third. A very, very close third. Or second, as I’m not entirely sure which one of the first two is the first.
What’s funny, depending on how you define the word “funny”, is that I was pretty much not expecting it to be much. It was a mere “formality”, after all. I already lived here, I had a family here, I just needed to finish the paperwork and, besides, I’d gone through all of the real emotional work long before that day, back when I had to make the decision whether to stay or not.
That wasn’t easy. It was easy in the sense that I knew that I couldn’t live without the lovely lady who was to become my wife, but it wasn’t easy at all in the sense that I would have to cut the cord that bound me to everything that I knew because you can’t be in two places at once. It wasn’t easy because I knew that I’d geographically cut myself off from everybody I’d always known and loved, and it wasn’t easy because I knew, having always been the sort of chap that follows every single damn thought to its logical conclusion, that it could only lead to one thing eventually, which is that I would have to renounce my citizenship and allegiance and swear an unbreakable Oath to a new nation, come what may.
Because you can’t serve two masters and you can’t call a place “home” unless you make it your home, 100%.
All of that I wrestled with for a long time until I reached the conclusion that it was what was meant to be, long before the actual ceremony.
I knew, eventually, that this is where I belonged, and I knew what I had to do, tough as that decision was. Tough not because I didn’t want to be an American, I got chills down my spine every time I heard The Star Spangled Banner and I believed already in everything that our Founding Fathers stood for, but because it involved an Oath. And if there is one thing that makes a Viking stop and think, it’s an Oath. You cannot break it without forfeiting your honor, and your honor is all that separates you from a worm.
But I had that down. Or so I thought.
Until that day when I and a lot of other new Americans were assembled in that room and was asked to raise my right hand. I wasn’t struck by doubts, not at all, I knew what it was that I had to do because I’d already decided on it, but I was struck by the immensity of it. And I teared up like a damn baby. A very happy baby. And I took the Oath, tied my life and my sacred honor to all that America stands for and I was happy about it, but I was surprised at how emotional I was about it.
So I know how Mr. Boye felt, and I am happy to have him as a fellow citizen.
I am, always have been, always will be a Viking, fiercely proud of my people’s history and proud culture, the country of my birth will always be one of the most beautiful places on Earth, but I’m an American Viking now.
My fondest hope is that I may impart some of my cultural virtues on this great melting pot of all that is good in humanity, but I am an American first and foremost and everything else second.
And I will fight and die, if necessary, for the Constitution that I swore an Oath to uphold against all enemies, foreign and domestic, because that is our way.
And I will always tear up when I see our flag flying or hear our national anthem play.
I love this nation and I will not watch it go to Hell.
And it won’t ever, as long as we have men like Mr. Boye among us.