May 19, 2009
On April 21, just a week after his interview, Rik became a citizen of the USA.
We met a colleague of his at the INS building. She brought a baseball basket filled with cards from his colleagues, American flags, and other "American" fun toys. We were so happy to see Miss C -- she really brought the party to the ceremony!
First all the new citizens were whisked away to process their paperwork. The guests went to the back of the auditorium. There were 101 new citizens from 43 countries of origin.
Each new citizen entered the auditorium carrying their paperwork and a small US flag. After they were all seated, we watched a video about the history of the citizenship process, with lots of footage of Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, old film and photos, etc. Then the citizens stood to take the oath of office together. One at a time, they were called to the podium to receive their certificate of citizenship. Then we watched another video, and the new citizens swore the Pledge of Allegiance.
The whole ceremony was quite moving and Rik and I both had tears in our eyes.