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Naturalization Ceremony - June 6, 2019

Release Date: 
Thursday, June 6, 2019

On June 6, 2019, the Honorable Nannette Jolivette Brown, Chief Judge for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, presided over a naturalization ceremony in which 35 individuals were naturalized as new United States citizens. The ceremony opened with a flag presentation by the United States Marine Forces Reserve Color Guard, a rendition of the National Anthem, and a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance. After the ceremony opened, New Orleans Bar Association President, Jason Waguespack, provided a keynote address. In his address, Attorney Waguespack focused on a citizen's rights and responsibilities and recounted the wisdom of President Theodore Roosevelt's 1910 "Citizenship in a Republic" speech, in which President Roosevelt offered that a good citizen is not one who sits on the sideline and complains, but one:

"who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat." 

After Attorney Waguespack's speech, Assistant United States Attorney Mary Katherine Kaufman certified candidates' eligibility for naturalization. The candidates then individually introduced themselves, announced their countries of origin, and received certificates of naturalization. Following the certificate distribution, Judge Brown administered the Oath of Allegiance and concluded the ceremony with remarks further reflecting on these words of President Theodore Roosevelt:

"Americanism is a question of principles, of idealism, of character; it is not a matter of birthplace or creed or line of descent."

After the ceremony, the New Orleans Chapter of the League of Women Voters encouraged new citizens to take advantage of their new-found citizenship by completing voter registration applications. 

Please select this link (Part A, Part B) to view photographs from the ceremony.