Monday, Oct 1, 2012
In commemoration of the park’s 50th anniversary, 50 people from 20 countries became new citizens during a ceremony at Point Reyes National Seashore on Monday, September 17th.
This was one of many naturalization ceremonies taking place in national parks during Citizenship Week under a partnership between the National Park Service and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The theme is “Embrace Citizenship – Experience America through your National Parks.”
The countries represented by the candidates this year included Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, El Salvador, Fiji, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Jordan, Mexico, Nepal, Nigeria, Peru, Philippines, Taiwan, UK, Venezuela, and Vietnam.
“How appropriate to take the oath of citizenship in a national park like Point Reyes National Seashore,” said Cicely Muldoon, the park’s superintendent. “National parks are a uniquely American idea. It is an honor to welcome these new citizens here at Point Reyes National Seashore.”
The ceremony took place at the Bear Valley Picnic Area. US Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey, Pacific West Deputy Regional Director George Turnbull, and Muldoon made brief remarks. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Field Office Director Robin Barrett administered the Oath of Allegiance to America’s newest citizens. The National Anthem was sung by children from West Marin School.
“I can’t think of places more appropriate to welcome a new generation of American citizens than national parks,” said Director Jarvis. “These parks, which are owned by all Americans, are not only places of stunning natural beauty and abundant wildlife, but across this country the nearly 400 national parks preserve our nation’s fascinating history and protect our rich cultural heritage. From Aztec Ruins National Monument in New Mexico to Ellis Island in New York City, national parks ensure our nation’s artifacts and records are protected for generations to come.”
The National Park Service and USCIS recently renewed a formal partnership to enhance citizenship ceremonies by holding them in national parks throughout the country. The agreement helps introduce new citizens to some of the nation’s most significant natural resources and cultural heritage sites. These historic and picturesque sites provide an ideal backdrop for citizenship ceremonies, where new citizens can learn about and reflect on American identity and the responsibilities of citizenship.