with Eric Chamberlain
story of Marine LCpl Jose F. Jimenez, recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor, who will be laid to rest next to his mother, in Glendale, Arizona. But, in that story, we did not discuss the issue of receiving citizenship in this country, after serving honorably in the armed forces.
Should non-citizens who serve Honorably in the US Military be granted United States Citizenship if they request it? Of course. Really, this should be a non-partisan issue.
We have a LONG military tradition of NON- Citizens serving in our Military- dating back to the War of Independence.
Major General Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette did not fight under the French Army in the American Revolution- but under the Continental Army. At age 19 defied the orders of King Louis XVI and came to America to fight and was wounded in battle in the Revolution. He remained though a citizen of France.
On July 4, 1917, after the American Expeditionary Force arrived in France to fight WWI, General "Blackjack" Pershing, and his aides went to Picpus Cemetery in Paris. The words, "Lafayette, We are here!" were uttered.
At the end of World War I, an American Flag was raised over Lafayette's grave. Every year since, on at 11:00 a.m. July 4, there is a ceremony in Paris, by members of French and US Military and American & French dignitaries, for the Changing of the America Flag over the tomb of Lafayette. Both La Marseillaise and the Star Spangled Banner are played as well as Taps and Aux Morts, and then representatives from the US Military lower the American Flag, and raise a new one.
In 1987, President Ronald Reagan wrote to Basillia Jimenez, the mother of LCpl Jimenez. “He gave his life for his buddies and for the United States. His was the Marine Corps creed, ‘Semper Fidelis’ (always faithful), and I know you have that spirit.”
There are eight people who have been named honorary citizens of the United States- only two while they were still alive- Mother Theresa and Winston Churchill. In addition to the ones already named, Swedish diplomat Raoul Gustaf Wallenberg - who saved tens of thousands of Jews in the Holocaust, Bernardo de Gálvez - for services in the Revolution while serving under the Army of Spain, and William and Hannah Penn - founders of Pennsylvania.
On Tuesday, January 17, 2017, WE CALL ON the ENTIRE Arizona Congressional Delegation of the House, from BOTH sides of the aisle, to rise on the Floor of the House and ask Senator's McCain and Flake to stand in the Well of the Senate and propose that LCpl Jose Francisco Jimenez, USMC, recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honour, who gave, as President Lincoln said, "the last full measure of devotion" for a country that was not even his; be granted honorary Citizenship in the United States of America, by an immediate Act of Congress.
Every recipient of the Highest Honor the United States can bestow, the Congressional Medal of Honor, should be immediately be named a citizen of this country if he or she wants to be... and Congress should make any who are still not citizens, honorary citizens at least...
Really, it is the least we can do...