Last week, my cousin’s husband, Ian, became a U.S. citizen.  When I heard that he had finally (after 20+ years) gone through the citizenship test and other processes, and that the ceremony at which he would take the Naturalization Oath would be sometime in the spring, I immediately booked myself in.

My husband, Paul, became a citizen some years back, and I found the ceremony to be really meaningful.  Ian’s ceremony had the advantage of being in a special location — Boston’s Faneuil Hall, with a history dating to 1742, and currently a National Historic site that is still used for public events.

The day started off with a round of paperwork for each of the soon-to-be citizens.

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Once all of that was complete, a judge turned up and talked about the meaning of citizenship, before he administered the oath for the new citizens.

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Visitors were up in the gallery, with good views of the artwork around the Hall.

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The 296 new U.S. citizens came from about 80 nations, ranging alphabetically from Albania to Vietnam.  The judge had them stand up as he called the name of their home country.  From my vantage point, it appeared the largest cluster was from Brazil, but most of the countries were represented by one or two new citizens.  There’s a rich international mix in the Boston area.

There’s even a Fletcher angle to this story.  As we walked outside after the ceremony, I heard someone calling my name.  It was Byron, a Fletcher alum whom I had recently seen at a reunion event.  His wife, originally from the Netherlands, was also sworn in on Thursday.

 

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