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PLATFORM : 'I Am an American'

July 04, 1993

TRUC PHAM, 34, who was born in Vietnam and now lives in Westminster, recently became a citizen after 10 years in the United States. While waiting to buy fireworks at a booth in Santa Ana, she told The Times that she is excited about celebrating America's Independence Day in her first year of citizenship:

I am very proud to be celebrating my country's independence. And this year will be very important to me because I will be celebrating as an American.

I still can't believe that I am a citizen of this great country. I still have memories of Vietnam, but those memories are filled with

pain. When I came here, I knew right away that this was a magic land. All kinds of people work side by side to make this country good.

I am honored that I will now have the chance to be a part of this magic. It's probably hard for many people who were born here to understand my happiness. But if you have ever lived anywhere else, you understand what I mean. Many of my relatives are still back in Vietnam. Many would give all their belongings to live here.

I know that some people are not happy that so many people come to America to make a better life. But isn't that what this country is about? The celebration we will have will recognize this. America is my home. I would die for it.

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