Seattle Region's Largest Fourth Of July Naturalization Ceremony Celebrates Diversity, Freedom And Citizenship
Seattle Center hosts the 35th Annual Fourth of July Naturalization Ceremony, 12 noon to 1 p.m., Thursday, July 4, and invites the public to observe as The Honorable Ricardo S. Martinez, Chief United States District Judge for the Western District of Washington, swears in over 500 candidates from more than 80 nations as new citizens of the United States of America. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services District Director Anne Corsano will present the candidates in this event that reaffirms the meaning of United States citizenship. It is an important day for the new citizens, who come from diverse cultures across the globe to make the United States-and Seattle-their new home.
Seattle Center, City of Seattle, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services and United States District Court for the Western District of Washington partner to produce the naturalization ceremony, held annually at Seattle Center for the past 34 years. All countries represented will be announced, the eldest applicant and military personnel for citizenship will be introduced. Seattle Center Director Robert Nellams will welcome attendees, followed by addresses by King County Executive Dow Constantine and Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman and congratulatory addresses by Washington State Governor Jay Inslee and U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell.
The formal program begins at 12 noon, commencing with the presentation of colors by the Washington State Guard Color Guard and the singing of the United States National Anthem by soloist Maria Plancich Kesovija, followed with a Native American welcome by performers Gene Tagaban, storyteller, and musicians Peter Ali and Swil Kanim. Gospel singer Josephine Howell will sing America the Beautiful, and the Children of our Nations, local children representing several of the nations from which the citizenship applicants originate, will lead the new citizens in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance for their first time as U.S. citizens.
Organizers of the Fourth of July Naturalization Ceremony encourage the public to join them in this free event. For more information, call 206-684-7200 or visit www.seattlecenter.com/naturalization.