29th ANNUAL NATURALIZATION CEREMONY
On Thursday, July 4, 2013, the Ethnic Heritage Council will host the 29th Annual Naturalization Ceremony at Seattle Center, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Over 500 candidates, from more than 80 countries, will be sworn in by The Honorable Richard C. Tallman, U.S. Circuit Court Judge, as new citizens of the United States of America. Produced by the Ethnic Heritage Council, Seattle Center, United States District Court for the Western District of Washington and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, this is by far one of the most meaningful and moving Fourth of July events in the region. While this is an especially important day for the many new citizens, coming from a variety of nations and cultures, it arouses great interest among friends and families as well as from the community at large. The Naturalization Ceremony also serves to reaffirm the deeper meaning of citizenship of the United States of America. The public is encouraged to attend the free event.
The ceremony will include speeches by U.S. Representative Jim McDermott, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee, King County Executive Dow Constantine, with Seattle City Mayor Mike McGinn as Master of Ceremonies.
The Greenwood Concert Band, with director William Blayney, will perform festive selections beginning at 11:00am. The United States Army Color Guard will present the colors at the commencement of the ceremony, 12noon. The formal program will last one hour, beginning with a performance by Native American performers Gene Tagaban, Swil Kanim & Peter Ali. All countries represented will be announced and the eldest applicant for citizenship will be introduced. The Children of the World will lead the new citizens in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance for their first time.
Each year, the Ethnic Heritage Council honors a naturalized citizen who has made outstanding contribution to his or her adopted country, the U.S.A., while maintaining his or her ethnic heritage. Congressman Jim McDermott will present the 2013 "Spirit of Liberty Award" to Jagdish Sharma, of the East Indian Community.
29th Annual Naturalization Ceremony is produced by the Ethnic Heritage Council, a non-profit organization formed in 1980, Seattle Center, United States District Court for the Western District of Washington and United States Department of Homeland Security. Proudly sponsored by United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, Seattle Center, City of Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, Gretchen Newman, University Lions Club Foundation, Seattle Post #1-American Legion, and supported by The Seattle Foundation. Since its inception, the Council has worked to promote inter-ethnic communication and cultural preservation in the Northwest.
EHC Annual Events - photos by Jal: Naturalization Ceremony; Annual Dinner; Cultural Crossroads; Winter Worldfest. Photos by Jal Schrof © EHC.
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