I am an immigrant to the United States of America and a naturalized citizen – I have chosen to be here and chose to be a citizen. I was born in a displaced persons’ camp in Germany in the aftermath of World War II. My parents were grateful to have escaped the clutches of Communism and to start a new life in the West. We emigrated to Canada, where I finished high school as well as my college and medical school years. I came to the States to do a residency in General Surgery at Columbia University and a Plastic Surgery residency at Harvard. By the time I finished my residency, I had lived in the US for seven years and had many more contacts in the plastic surgery field in the US than I did in Canada. By the time I accepted my first, full-time teaching position at the University of California in San Francisco, I honestly had not made a conscious decision not to move back to Canada at some point. I must confess that by the time our son, Justin, was born in 1986, I realized that I would never voluntarily move away from the United States and began the citizenship process. Joining my son as a US citizen was one of the happiest days of my life. Like most immigrants who came here by choice, I truly value the freedom and opportunities offered by being a citizen in the United States of America. Thank you for the opportunity, America! God Bless these United States of America!