Thousands of New Citizens Help U.S. Celebrate Birthday

Thousands of New Citizens Help U.S. Celebrate Birthday

In celebration of its 237th birthday, the United States is welcoming more than 7,800 new citizens in more than 100 naturalization ceremonies across the country and overseas from July 1 to July 5.

“The United States has a long and proud tradition as a welcoming nation, and we continue to attract hardworking people from across the world who want to contribute to this country in purposeful ways,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano in a July 2 Homeland Security press release. “During Independence Day week, we welcome men and women who have come from all walks of life to serve our country and become our fellow citizens.”

“As a first-generation American, taking part in this ceremony has special meaning for me,” said Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew. “It takes incredible resolve to become a citizen of this nation, and we benefit greatly from those who make this journey.”

Lew welcomed 30 new citizens July 3 at the Department of the Treasury in Washington. White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough will join a July 4 ceremony with 101 new citizens at George Washington’s Mount Vernon in Mount Vernon, Virginia.

New citizens will take the Oath of Allegiance during ceremonies all around the country, including at Crater Lake National Park in Crater Lake, Oregon; the Chicago Cultural Center in Chicago; Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello in Charlottesville, Virginia; Saguaro National Park in Tucson, Arizona; the National World War II Museum in New Orleans; the Freedom Tower in Miami; and the Seattle Center in Seattle.

This year’s celebration of citizenship also will feature special naturalization ceremonies at sites integral to America’s struggle to maintain independence and defend freedom, including the USS Midway Museum in San Diego; the Battleship Missouri Memorial at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; Historic Fort Snelling in St. Paul, Minnesota; Fort Necessity National Battlefield in Farmington, Pennsylvania; Saratoga National Historical Park in Stillwater, New York; Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial in Put-in-Bay, Ohio; and aboard the USS Constitution in Boston.

Thirty-five members of the U.S. armed forces will take the Oath on July 4 at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano will naturalize six military members at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, Republic of Korea. Nine recruits will be naturalized during basic training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, allowing them to serve their adopted country as U.S. citizens.

Approximately 100 people will become citizens during naturalization ceremonies before baseball games at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, Rhode Island; New Britain Stadium in New Britain, Connecticut; Iowa Cubs Ballpark in Des Moines, Iowa; and TD Bank Ballpark in Bridgewater, New Jersey.

The United States is asking new citizens and their families and friends to share the experience and photos at their ceremonies via Twitter using the hashtag #July4Natz.

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