Today I had the opportunity to attend the Swearing In of a very close co-worker. She was born and raised in Great Britain and has lived in the United States for several years now. About a month ago she took the Citizenship test--while studying for the test she shared with me all the things she was required to know, such as, specific details and information of the Amendments. I was astonished at what information she learned, I remember learning much of it in grade school, but can't recall any of it now and I'm sure that neither can most American citizens.
Anyways...it was quite the experience to witness such a special day not only for my friend but for another 197 people who took the oath to become a citizen. The ceremony, or should I say the court session was held in the Rose Wagner Theater in SLC. There were so many people there that we had to sit in the overflow area down in the basement. When the session began, we all had to stand as the court session began--that was then followed by students from a local Elementary school leading us in the Pledge of Allegiance, and then singing the National Anthem and several other patriotic songs that I did not know. Then all 198 people stood and took their oath--I was amazed that in the oath they had to denounce all loyalties to previous kings, leaders, etc.
After that several of the newest citizens were given the opportunity to share brief thoughts and feelings on their special day. All those that spoke, spoke of the many sacrifices and blessings that came through their efforts--it was such a humbling experience for me to see that what I take for guaranteed is a prized and valued gift to others. We truly are blessed to live in a country were we are free to live, believe and worship as we wish.