This is not to say that I do not feel some kind of kinship with my native country, Italy. I do. But, since dreaming of coming to America as a little boy and eventually coming to this country and becoming an American citizen, I can truly say that my allegiance is to America.
You see, I came here because I did not have any opportunities to become the singer and the pilot I wanted to be in Italy. There were no such opportunities available for an "illegitimate son." It took Italy well into the 70s to change the law that would eventually protect the "love children" of WW2 from the social injustices and constant vilification that labeled us all second class citizens.
It wasn't till I came to Canada, first, that I was able to change my name from my mother's maiden name to my father's. And when I returned to Italy with a commercial pilot license and applied for a job at Alitalia in Rome, I was handed an application with the question "Son of and of." I didn't answer it because it was not legal to ask those questions any longer. And because the application was not complete, it was rejected!
It was a great disappointment for my father who had never imagined I could become a commercial pilot. It hurt him badly. I just came back to Canada and vowed to never allow myself to have Italy insult me ever again!
In America I found my home. I came here legally in 1974 - I cannot tell you how many hoops I had to jump through - and I have celebrated Independence Day as a true American since becoming one in 1979.
America gave me the opportunities to achieve my dreams and gave me my independence and I celebrate it every year. I pledged my allegiance to America and I bleed now to see it being destroyed.
In my 77th summer, on this Independence Day, I pledge to do my best to Make America Great Again and pray to God that common sense, morality and discernment be once again embraced by us all. God bless America!