September 17 is a day for all Americans to celebrate because it is Constitution Day and Citizenship Day. It was on this day in 1787 that delegates of the U.S. Constitutional Convention signed the Constitution, recognizing all who are born in the U.S. or by naturalization, have become citizens. It is a day to appreciate our rights and freedoms and celebrate what America stands for — a beacon of hope, promise, and success. We are all meant to be shepherds of the Constitution – welcoming immigrants, advocating for our rights and the rights of others, and never denying one another opportunities.
It is also a day of celebration for me personally because I officially released my third novel Betrayal in Blue.
Last September, I published my second novel, Betrayal of Justice. The book focuses on those who, despite immeasurable hardships, venture to America to become citizens. For many, the appeal of America is the security of freedoms and rights that are threatened in their native country. But the threats often don’t end for them here. In fact, even American citizens can be threatened by domestic conflict, which is the focus of Betrayal in Blue.
For me, Betrayal of Justice looked to America’s relationship with the world beyond its borders. While it significantly questions the American justice system, it also explores issues of immigration and the perceptions given off by our leaders. Betrayal in Blue, on the other hand, is more deeply rooted here at home. When the lives of American citizens, immigrants, and natives alike, are put at risk, the situation escalates as legal and law enforcement officials get in each other’s way. What are the implications when those tasked with protecting us and defending our rights render themselves unable to do so?
This September 17, take the opportunity to contemplate what it means to be an American citizen. Have open discussions with your friends and family. (Works of fiction can also be valuable sources to start the conversation, but I leave that to you.)
Attorney, certified civil mediator, and award-winning author of the Zachary Blake Betrayal Series. Mark Bello is also a member of the State Bar of Michigan, a sustaining member of the Michigan Association for Justice, and a member of the American Association for Justice.