Lucy Berrington

Is the American dream still available?

A YEAR ago this week, I became an American. The ceremony took place a couple of days after the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday in Faneuil Hall, where more than 400 of us had assembled to take the oath of citizenship. Looking around, I realized I hadn’t done this properly. Most people had installed family and friends in the balcony with cameras, ready to record the moment and celebrate afterwards. I’d come alone, hoping it would be over in time for me to pick up my son from school.

“We may all have come on different ships, but we’re all in the same boat now,’’ said the presiding judge, quoting King. He added, “America’s welcoming society is more than cultural tradition; it’s a fundamental promise of our democracy’’ - the words of George W. Bush in 2006 - and cited Barack Obama’s presidency as validation of this principle.

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