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
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
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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