On Thursday, March 22nd, we participated in a Naturalization Ceremony where 88 immigrants from 26 countries became citizens of the United States. With assistance from the staff of President George H.W. and Barbara Bush and with the support of the Bush School of Government and Public Service, the Ceremony was held in the Annenberg Presidential Conference Center on the campus of Texas A & M University. A student choir from A & M Consolidated High School sang the National Anthem, and 170 students from the school paid careful attention as the immigrants took the Oath. The presiding judge, the Honorable J.D. Langley of the 85th District Court, spoke to the students and new citizens about the naturalization process and explained in detail the Oath of Allegiance so that all present would understand the meaning of the Ceremony. President George H.W. and Barbara Bush were warmly welcomed and celebrated by those who presided and spoke, by the students, the new citizens and their families as well as the staff and guests of Citizenship Counts. The atmosphere was both warm and thrilling.
Mario Ortiz, District Director of USCIS District 18 spoke to those in attendance with words of appreciation for the opportunity of working with immigrants who are becoming citizens and with congratulations to those who became citizens at this Ceremony. He told the story of his grandfather’s pride in his citizenship. His grandfather’s naturalization certificate was always prominently displayed in his grandparents’ home. It now hangs on the wall of Mr. Ortiz’ office.
Gerda Weissman Klein told her story and explained her reasons for founding Citizenship Counts. She also expressed deep appreciation to President and Mrs. Bush for their presence at the Ceremony. Another guest speaker, Professor Celso Moura Lima Filho, told his story of coming to the United States from Brazil to study mathematics. For the past 19 years he has been a Professor of Mathematics at Texas A & M. He became a citizen at this Ceremony.
We hope you will enjoy the photographs below that will tell you more of the story of this remarkable day – for the new citizens and their guests and for Citizenship Counts’ and our guests. Although there are many photos of new citizens, they are only a fraction of the 88 who proudly and gratefully took the Oath.