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07:46 pm: Citizen Haney
Peter was sworn in as a naturalized U.S. citizen today. I was privileged to be there, and alternately bored and deeply moved by the ceremony.

There were either 388 or 451 people naturalized (it wasn't clear whether they called out one group as a subset or as a separate group), and Peter was the 6th from the last. We got there late by just a couple of minutes, and he was given no choice about where to sit, so he was at the end of the back row. That's what we get for dawdling. Oh well! But it did mean that, seated in the gallery, I couldn't see him and wasn't sure when in that very long line of people he would show up.

There was a lot of waiting around. I was glad Teddy wasn't there; the kids that were there were not happy. I was bored out of my mind for most of it (I'd put my magazine in Peter's bag, not knowing we would be separated, and all cell phones had to be turned off), as it mostly involved shuffling the large group of people back and forth.

The ceremony itself was very nice. The clerk of the court officially moved that the applicants present be granted citizenship, which motion was accepted by the federal judge. The judge then made a nice speech about the glories and responsibilities of being a U.S. citizen, including this quote from JFK's inaugural address in 1961: "Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty."

I thought the choice was a bit suspicious during the current political climate, but... eh. :shrug:

She also told a lovely story about a juror whom she questioned during voir dire for a trial. The woman worked in a nursing home, and was the sole support for her three children and her handicapped mother. When the judge asked the potential juror whether it would be a hardship for her to serve, the woman replied that she would work the night shift if she were selected. She was selected, and was an excellent, attentive juror. At the verdict, the jury foreman had a second note to give the judge (after the judgment). The judge called a sidebar with the lawyers and opened the note; it was from that excellent juror. The note said that the judge had sworn the juror in as a U.S. citizen 11 years before, and that she was proud to have done her duty by serving as a juror.

The judge urged all the new citizens to be responsible citizens... to vote and to do jury duty. Hard to resist after that story, I suppose!

There were two people from the armed forces there - a man who'd served a year in Afghanistan, and another on active duty in Iraq who returned for the citizenship ceremony. The latter led the hall in the Pledge of Allegiance (badly, but it was still moving).

We went directly from the ceremony to Boston City Hall, where Peter registered to vote.

I'm thrilled and proud that Peter's a citizen - and relieved that we're through that phase of work.

Now about that U.S. driver's license...

Current Location: Boston
Current Mood: ecstaticecstatic

Comments

From:swingchickie
Date:November 2nd, 2006 11:01 am (UTC)
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that's fantastic!!! CONGRATS to peter!!!!
From:(Anonymous)
Date:November 2nd, 2006 11:42 am (UTC)
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Yay, hurray!!!!
YoMa-in-La
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From:katehaney
Date:November 2nd, 2006 05:27 pm (UTC)

Thanks!!

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Isn't it wonderful?
From:(Anonymous)
Date:November 3rd, 2006 05:00 pm (UTC)

Congratulations to you both

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Kate,

My mother used to talk about her swearing in ceremony and how much it meant to her to be an American citizen. She was sworn in during Kennedy's administration. My dad too.

Thank you for sharing this.

Inge
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From:katehaney
Date:November 6th, 2006 05:04 pm (UTC)

Very cool!

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Very cool indeed. And welcome to my Comments! I hope to see you here often. :) Kate
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