Thursday, March 14, 2019

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Putnam County residents become proud Americans

Family celebrates after taking oath of allegiance

CARMEL – Forty-one of America’s newest citizens recited their oath of allegiance to the United States and received a rousing ovation at the historic Putnam Courthouse.

Wednesday’s naturalization ceremony, attended by family and friends of the new citizens, was the first of the year for Putnam County. Since 2015 following a 20-year hiatus, hundreds of newcomers have taken their oaths of allegiance thanks to the efforts of County Clerk Michael Bartolotti.

America’s newest citizens come from all corners of the earth including Nepal, Azerbaijan, El Salvador, South Africa, Brazil, India, Egypt, Nigeria, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Poland, India, Philippines, Jamaica, United Kingdom, Hungary, Peru, Guatemala, Pakistan, Columbia and Mexico.

The hour-long ceremony was officiated over by State Supreme Court Justice Thomas Zugibe who called on the newest citizens to “be the best you can be. Enjoy life and always enjoy America.”

Zugibe told his audience “many Americans take their citizenship for granted. This is your dream and you have earned it. Now you can smile and say: ‘I am an American!’”

The judge reminded the newcomers that “citizenship means responsibility. Become involved in your community. Vote! Serve on a jury always remembering that we are one nation under God with liberty and justice for all.”

District Attorney Robert Tendy welcomed the new citizens as well. He called naturalization the “nicest and most pleasurable ceremony found in our county. In America, everyone is welcome and we respect all of you. It doesn’t matter where you came from. What matters is what you do with your lives as American citizens.”

Deputy Director of Veterans Affairs Art Hanley led the new citizens in their first reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance telling them, “Welcome Americans!”

Bartolotti praised the 41 new citizens assembled before him in the packed historic Putnam Courthouse. “This day is for each of you. Our population has become more diversified in recent years. Many of us take our citizenship for granted. You have strived to become American citizens. Today is your day.”

Pasang Sherpa, who resides in Brewster with his wife and nine year old daughter, was one of those taking his oath of allegiance. “I am so happy that this day has come,” said the native of Nepal.

 


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