The big Belleville Bicentennial weekend kicked of this morning with a Naturalization Ceremony on the step of the county courthouse on the Public Square. It was beautiful, hearing all of the countries our newest citizens (109 of them!), were from (so many…and truly from every corner of the world! The Philippines, Turkey, Nicaragua, Luxembourg, Zimbabwe, Portugal, and so many others were represented!), seeing many of them in native dress, alongside our judges in their robes, and then listening to them take their oath. Such a momentous occasion in their lives, and I’m glad we could be a very small part of it!
“I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.” The Oath of Allegiance