Thursday, July 12, 2007

New Americans/Friday Photos

This past Wednesday, I witnessed the the swearing in of 34 "new Americans." They came from 18 different countries, including Bangladesh, Korea, Mexico, Germany, China, Jamaica, Bahamas, and the Phillippines. Jesus is a man from our church that has been working toward this day for several years. Last month he took "the test" and passed. Today was his -- and the other's -- day to take the oath of citizenship that would make him an American.

For the first part of the ceremony, each of the "applicants" for citizenship stood and stated their country of origin as their name was called. It was impressive to hear all of the different countries and dialects. One by one, they proudly stood, and one by one they uttered the name of their birth country--a country that, in only a few moments, they would "renounce." The judge then had them all stand and raise their right hand for the swearing in. They stood at attention as the judge read the following oath:

Do you hereby declare, on oath, that you absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which you have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that you will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that you will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that you will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by law; that you will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that you will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that you take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.
In unison, the applicants responded: "I do!" And with those two words, America gained 34 brand new citizens. Citizens in every way, having the same priviledges and rights as one born on this American soil.

It was an exciting day for Jesus and his family. I spoke with him right before the ceremony. "Are you excited?", I asked. "Yes.", he quickly replied, grinning from ear to ear. "Are you nervous?" Even more quickly, "YES!" Jesus doesn't say alot, but I could tell (even if you can't tell from the picture)...he was STOKED. Today, he would fulfill his dream. He would become an American. Welcome "home", Jesus.

Friday Photos


This is Jesus- one of America's newest citizens. He has the certificate and American flag to prove it.


This women was from the Phillippines. I shot this picture immediately after the group took the oath of citizenship. Her face says it all. I thought her scarf was a nice touch, also.


Baxter said...

I'm sure it was a BIG moment. *tears*

Bart said...

I'm happy for Jesus and the other 33 new Americans.
On the other hand, this is just another example of government hipocrasy - at the end of the oath. "So help me God." And another example of how the government doesn't have to follow the same rules as we citizens do. This in addition to the swearing in of a witness at a trial, wherein they utter the same phrase; and the prayer given by a minister before each session of Congress. They let the Godless liberals take away our rights, while they seem to be exempt from their own laws.

Keith said...

Kinda ironic, ain't it.

Baxter said...

Yeah, that phrase stood out to me, too. I guess we can be thankful it's still a part of the process. If things continue on the course they are on, it soon won't be.

Julie said...

Thanks for taking the time to write about this ocassion. The one thing that made me overjoyed was the fact that what our Founders began is still going on as they set it out to happen. I tend to think that the liberals don't give much creedence to the naturalization process because most of the new citizens when they register to vote will become Republicans.