We drove around looking for a parking spot for quite a while. The auditorium was packed. 1300 people were becoming citizens today – and everyone seemed to bring family and friends .
I had never observed this kind of ceremony before, so I was excited to see what happens. The actual process started before I really realized what was going on.
The Mayor of San Antonio began calling out the names of different countries, in alphabetical order. Luckily, Jay wasn’t from a country that started with an “A”! So, we had a little time before The Lone Malaysian got to stand up. After they called out each individualized country,- 85 countries were represented – the speaker said, “And now, the country you’ve all been waiting for…Mexico!” And then 600 people stood and applauded!
Once all of the new citizens was standing, they were asked to raise their right hand and “swear in” as an American. Then we all stood and joined them for the Pledge of Allegiance.
At that point, the Mayor introduced several “distinguished guests” – representatives from the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Sons of the American Revolution, and there was also a man in a powdered wig – I could swear they told everyone he WAS George Washington.
One of the guests from Edgewood shared a video with the group. It opened with President George Bush congratulating them for becoming citizens. Jay loved that! There were also quotes from President Kennedy, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” They played the song “Proud to be an American,” and showed pictures of all the fallen heroes from Edgewood.
After that, they retired the colors and staff handed out certificates to all the new citizens. This was kind of disorganized. The citizens were in assigned seats, so the knew the general proximity for each one. But they just came over and shouted out the names – although they struggled with pronounciation and the ability to be heard. It was kind of like a substitute teacher handing back homework.
They were each supposed to get a small American Flag as well. Jay didn’t get one because he had to step out of line to fill out additional paperwork related to his stolen passport. But he was ok with missing the flag. He though all Americans would be issued a bottle of Ranch dressing – since that’s what he thinks is the most American thing we do!
After that, we all went to Maudie’s for lunch. Jay later raced to the post office with his completed voter’s registration card. This was the deadline day to be able to vote in the Primary.
Yay – J-american!