28th ANNUAL NATURALIZATION CEREMONY
On July 4, 2012, the Ethnic Heritage Council will host the 28th 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, and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, and brought to you by Bank of America, 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 United States Senator Maria Cantwell, U.S. Representative Jim McDermott, Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed, Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna, 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, followed by a presentation by Choir of the Sound, directed by Jeremy Matheis. 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. The Total Experience Gospel Choir, directed by Patrinell Wright, will also perform during the ceremony. 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 2012 "Spirit of Liberty Award" to Simon Khin, an ethnic Karen from Burma.
28th Annual Naturalization Ceremony is produced by the Ethnic Heritage Council, a non-profit organization formed in 1980, Seattle Center and United States Department of Homeland Security. Brought to you by Bank of America, and proudly sponsored by Seattle Center, PEMCO Insurance, City of Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, Gretchen Newman, University Lions Club Foundation, Seattle Post #1-American Legion, Daughters of the American Revolution-Rainier Chapter and supported by The Seattle Foundation, Canonicus Fund and Refugee & Immigrant Children's Program-Lutheran Community Services NW. 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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