I had the honor to attend the swearing in ceremony of 18 new U.S. citizens at the Naturalization Ceremony held at our local library today. This is one of the most moving ceremonies I have ever attended. I caught wind of it happening in a casual conversation this past week. To the best of my knowledge, there is no announcement in advance, just the attendees and their family and friends and the public, if any, who wish to attend. I am pleased to say that our Congressman, State Representatives, and City Council were in attendance to welcome these new United States citizens.
In just 30 minutes, these 18 people’s lives were changed forever. In fact, one of the best sentences I heard was: “Please stand as we announce your country of origin and remain standing. When you are seated again, you will be United States Citizens.” Twelve countries were called out. Eighteen people stood and then took their Oath of Citizenship. One by one their names were called and they came forward to collect their citizenship certificates and to be congratulated by the leaders of our little community. As each made their way, we applauded. I thought it amusing that most people were too busy getting photos than applauding their accomplishment. It was beautiful, heart-warming and best of all, legal. Every red, white and blue cell in my body went electric.
P.S. – For information on ceremonies taking place in your local area: We spoke with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) agency representative about attending other ceremonies and to my surprise, they occur every day and several times a month – both at the local offices and as we did at our library. You are more than welcome to attend, space available. It is heart-warming and wonderful to witness. Quite an antidote to our current times. If you google, “(your town) USCIS” – it will pop up and just give ‘em a call and ask for the schedule. Well worth it!