Today my Swedish son-in-law became an American citizen. He did not just arrive in this country but has been here for 34 years, raised a family, and worked in international sales. Until just a few years ago, Sweden would not allow dual citizenship and Anders traveled extensively in Europe on his Swedish passport. He began the journey to US citizenship as soon as possible when dual citizenship was an option. Each exit from the US and entry into the US that he had made in the past 34 years required accurate documentation. This documentation process was a daunting undertaking but he kept at it and finally, this year everything was in order.
|A Fraction of the 1,232 Candidates For US Citizenship|
|The Wall of the Paramount Theater|
Some of you know by now that I like to take pictures of beautiful designs. So, it makes sense that I would take a picture of this gorgeous ceiling at the Paramount and the wall in the picture above. The colors are true and the designs are mesmerizing. We were not bored while waiting for the ceremony to begin.
The interior of the Paramount Theater creates a grand atmosphere for this ceremony and communicates the importance of this moment. The government officials spoke warmly and respectfully to the new citizens. The man who introduced the procedures spoke fluently in the languages of seven countries as he welcomed the candidates. (Swedish was not one of them.) He also had a dry sense of humor with which he peppered his comments. At the end, 1,232 candidates from 104 countries received their certificates of citizenship in a timely, orderly fashion. Over half of them ordered passports in the lobby. All of this finished in a little over an hour renewing my faith, ever so slightly, in government efficiency.
|The Wall and Ceiling of the Paramount Theater|
I almost stayed home and worked on some bracelets today but I'm so glad I didn't! I was reminded of my days managing Vocational English As A Second Language Programs in business. The people I interacted with in those classes believed in the promise of America. Many had left everything to come to a better place and participate in the American Dream. Their love for the United States should remind us to stand up for the country we believe in and to vote, vote, vote. These new citizens bring fresh enthusiasm and dedication with them. Let's welcome them.
Thank you, Anders and 1,231 others. We need you here.
|New American--One of the Best|