by Antonia Petrash
On September 17th, we celebrated Constitution Day and Citizenship Day in a very special way. Members of the League of Women Voters gathered at Sagamore Hill, home of Theodore Roosevelt, a national historic site, to witness the swearing in of 46 new citizens, originally from twenty-seven different countries. After they were sworn in the League distributed applications to register to vote, which almost all filled out.
The Master of Ceremonies was the Honorable A. Kathleen Tomlinson, US Magistrate Judge, Eastern District of NY. Those invited to witness and take part in the ceremony included Syosset South Woods Middle School Jazz Choir and Chamber orchestra, both of whom performed beautifully, and 8th grade students, thus offering the youngsters the opportunity to see democracy in action.
ut the main stars of the show were the new citizens themselves, proudly standing to take the Oath of Allegiance, promising to “support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America,” and to “bear true faith and allegiance to same.”
The location of Sagamore Hill itself offered its own magic, with the spirit of our 26th President not far away. One thinks he would have enjoyed the ceremony immensely.
At a time of such tumultuous politicking and contentious public debate, it was refreshing and humbling to see so many new citizens grateful for the chance to make the American dream their own.
To further your education of woman suffrage, please visit Antonia’s blog!