WILLIAMSBURG, Va., March 11, 2014 – A Citizenship Ceremony for children of recently naturalized United States citizens will be held on Saturday, March 22, at Jamestown Settlement, a museum of 17th-century Virginia. The event is hosted by the Williamsburg Chapter National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) and the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation in partnership with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) of the Department of Homeland Security.
Fifty young people ages 11 to 25 from 26 countries – Belarus, Benin, Canada, China, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Ethiopia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, India, Republic of Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Lithuania, Mauritius, Mexico, Panama, Philippines, Romania, Russia, Sudan, United Kingdom, Ukraine and Vietnam – will take the Oath of Allegiance to the United States and receive formal acknowledgement of their citizenship. The ceremony begins at 2 p.m. and is open to the public on a space-available basis.
“We are proud to join with the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation and USCIS to sponsor this truly special ceremony for a third year,” said Jane M. Stewart, regent for the Williamsburg Chapter NSDAR, which co-sponsors two adult naturalization ceremonies annually in June and December with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. “It’s appropriate to hold it at Jamestown Settlement, near where some of the very first immigrants to our country came ashore.”
Featured speaker for the event is Williamsburg resident Gabriel A. Pall, an internationally recognized author and management consultant. A native of Hungary, he escaped to Austria during the Hungarian Revolution in 1956, immigrated to the United States the following year and became a naturalized citizen in 1962. After a 30-year career with IBM, he retired as an executive and later became president of Juran International Inc., a global consulting firm specializing in quality management. More recently, Mr. Pall has consulted on project and process management with the College of William and Mary.
USCIS Norfolk Field Office Director Stephanie Reither will administer the Oath of Allegiance to participants and, with Immigration Services Officer Anne Nowinski, present each with a Certificate of Citizenship. Individuals who are under 18 at the time their parents are naturalized are eligible for a Certificate of Citizenship.
Others with a role in the program are members of the George Wythe Society Children of the American Revolution (C.A.R.) and Jamestown Settlement Honor Guard, who will escort the 50 participants into Jamestown Settlement’s Robins Foundation Theater; Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation Deputy Executive Director of Administration J. Jeffrey Lunsford; Williamsburg Chapter NSDAR Regent Jane M. Stewart and Second Vice Regent and Americanism Chairman Joni Stevens; George Wythe Society C.A.R. President Madison Pons; and vocalist Jane Hanson.
Following the ceremony, participants and their families will be provided a guided tour of Jamestown Settlement, which chronicles 17th-century Virginia and the convergence of American Indian, European and African cultures through gallery exhibits and historical interpretation in outdoor settings: replicas of the three ships that brought America’s first permanent English colonists to Virginia in 1607 and re-creations of a Powhatan Indian village and 1610-14 English fort.
Operated by the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, an educational agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia and accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, Jamestown Settlement is located on State Route 31 in James City County, just southwest of the City of Williamsburg. For information about the museum, call (888) 593-4682 toll-free or (757) 253-4838 or visit hif.ciniva.net.