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As we move from Thanksgiving into this busy holiday season, I wanted to take a moment to recognize all the hard work and effort our Federal workforce puts in every day of the year.
I hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving and for those who celebrate, a happy beginning of Hanukkah. I was fortunate to be at home in Colorado with my husband and our daughter Graciela where we enjoyed a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with family and friends.
I especially want to thank those families who were apart from their loved ones who are serving our country far from home. We honor and appreciate their sacrifice and hope they will be back with you soon.
Thursday was an inspirational day for me. I had the honor of witnessing 35 new Americans from 20 countries take the oath of citizenship at the USCIS office in Fairfax, Va. and offering them some words of welcome.
And this was a very special group of new citizens. You see, they had not passed their first citizenship test. So they studied and studied and in the true spirit of this country, they returned Thursday to try again. And they succeeded. The look of pride in their faces and of the family members, including some young children, was heartwarming.
One by one, as the name of country they emigrated from was called, the prospective citizens stood: Albania, Bangladesh, Bolivia, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia Ghana, India, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Nepal, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Somalia, South Korea, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam. And after all 35 were standing, Sarah Taylor, USCIS Washington District Director, administered the oath.
As I told them in my remarks, these new citizens are what America is all about. It’s about hard work. It’s about determination. And we need Americans like this to make our country grow and prosper. The United States has always been a country of immigrants who come to our shores to find a better life. And I was privileged to be a small part of their journey.
For the full text of the Proclamation, click here: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/11/05/presidential-proclamation-veterans-day-2013.
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