WILLIAMSBURG, Va., March 18, 2015 – A Citizenship Ceremony for children of naturalized United States citizens will be held on Saturday, March 28, 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.
Forty-five people, the youngest age 11, from 27 countries – Belize, Benin, Bhutan, China, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Ghana, Guatemala, India, Iraq, Jamaica, Korea, Libya, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Morocco, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom 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 fourth year,” said Jane M. Stewart, regent for the Williamsburg Chapter NSDAR, which co-sponsors two naturalization ceremonies annually in June and December with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.
Featured speaker for the event is Williamsburg resident Bill Barker, internationally known for his 18th-century portrayal of Thomas Jefferson, one of America’s founding fathers, for more than 30 years. A native of Philadelphia, Pa., Mr. Barker enjoys researching the American world Jefferson knew with an interest in the role the man played and continues to play in our American identity. He first appeared as Jefferson in 1984 at Independence Hall in Philadelphia and, since 1993, has appeared as Jefferson at Colonial Williamsburg, where he assists in the development of Jefferson programs.
USCIS Norfolk Field Office Director Frank Reffel will administer the Oath of Allegiance to participants and, with Immigration Services Officer Lauren Lipchak, 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 45 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. Registrar Heather Cucuel; and vocalist Jane Hanson.
Following the ceremony, participants and their families have an opportunity to take 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.