Everyone has their homeland and becomes a citizen of the country when they are old enough. I also have my homeland where I was born, but I do not have the citizenship of my country because I fled from the land to China to have freedom. I was 17 years old then. It was before I realized how vital my nationality and identification that I could show where I was born and who I am was. When I realized their importance, I was already terrified by the reality that I didn’t have any identification to show. The only status that I had was as a woman from North Korea that escaped from a communist country and lived in China with no documentation. I also could not reveal my nationality because I was a defector.
I became a citizen of the United States in nine years after going through a long period of not having an identity and applying for a refugee. Being a US citizen for someone might be a pleasant, exiting and meaningful moment to celebrate, but being a US citizen for me is like enjoying joy and pain at the same time. The identification and citizenship that I received from the United States government represent my journey to get here for freedom. It is more than just an ID or passport that I can show when I drive or travel, but it represents what I have been through and who I am today here.
I sincerely appreciate the United States, my second homeland, for giving me the opportunity to live a better life that everyone in this world equally deserves. Therefore, I will not hesitate to serve this nation when it needs me, and I will be glad to add help for peace in my second homeland where I found my own peace, hope, and dream.