One day, Justin, an ex-coworker of mine, ex-marine wounded while at service, proud American fellow, and I were on a conversation on which I was telling him how much I love this great country, and how grateful I am to America. He replied to me with a question... “Have you ever bled for this country?” I look to his eyes and told him “I haven’t bled blood, but I bled the best years of my life for this country”
I showed him my hands and I told him… “This pair of hands you see here cut thousands and thousands of pounds of steel bar needed for the reconstruction of the cypress by- pass that collapsed on the earthquake of 1989, this pair of hands you see here cut some of the steel for the San Francisco’s airport expansion, these pair of hands you see here did some of the drywall taping of Chicago’s Midway airport and the drywall taping of dozens of homes in Chicago”. As you see my friend I’ve never been on a combat zone, but I have been on a different front. The front of an everyday fight of this great country to keep growing, reconstructing itself and struggling to keep itself on the world’s leadership. And I have done my part by working very hard; every single day. With no rest day in and day out. It has been like that since I got here. I always observed respect for the people, their ideas and culture, language, beliefs and principles and embraced them; being these ideas, beliefs and principles the ones that ultimately and universally rule this great country and human kind. This is my friend, how I have bled my years of youth for this country. And I have done it with no regrets. To the contrary, I did this with devotion with all my strength, the best of me. To represent the immigrants, like me in the best possible way.
I am going to tell you about me. I got here when I was 23 years old. I have been here since 1992 working in a numberless of jobs and positions. In 1996 I meet the woman that has walked along with me ever since, we procreated three boys and a girl. I have paid special attention in inculcating my children not to forget their roots, but with the same emphasis to grow being the best American they can be. I have thought them to study hard, to love this country and deeply respect the American flag and symbols. My sons are true Americans, I have thought them so, that is why they would be ready to bleed the blood I could not shed, when I was young because I’m an undocumented and I could not serve if I had to. I have lived my life in the most righteous possible way. I have not stolen, I have not killed, I have not done any wrong. In my work I always tried to be worthy for the company I work for. I have been responsible and honest; towards my coworkers I have tried to be empathetic and helpful, always with a sincere demeanor. I have tried my best to one day look straight to your eyes and ask you, my fellow American for a chance to become one of you; to walk side by side and; make of this country an even a greater country. To fight along in our different fronts that life has put us on to, to make this land a better place to live and to pass it on to our kids in the best possible way. Let me be your neighbor, your coworker, your bother in the church. Do not fear my fellow American for the jobs, I will not be competing for them, I will be providing them. I have ideas for new business, new ways of making things. I have education and different perspectives to approach the challenges that this times bring with them. We will use those contributions of mine that are beneficial for you and me, and we will discard what are not. It might look that this appeal is only personal and that I am speaking for myself, but there are many, many others like me out there asking for the opportunity. This appeal is not only on my name, but also on the name of those who have been doing the same thing that I have to serve this country and behave in the best possible way, so one day I will be able to look straight to your eyes and ask you the same thing I am asking you. Grant us the opportunity to be a part of you. Please support a comprehensive immigration reform. With an open mind, with an open heart and with open arms, give us a chance to fully embrace this great nation with you. GOD BLESS AMERICA.
S I N C E R E L Y:
Marco A. Cedeño