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How great is this?

On Saturday, January 19, 2019, President Trump held the first ever naturalisation ceremony in the Oval Office:

What a day to remember that must have been. Wow.

Here are the fortunate five who made history last Saturday:

The AP was one of a handful to carry this story. It’s a good report, by the way, excerpted below:

The new citizens had the oath of allegiance administered by Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and received their naturalization certificates from Vice President Mike Pence, followed by a handshake from Trump.

“By taking this oath, you have forged a sacred bond with this nation, its traditions, its culture and its values. This heritage is now yours to protect, promote and pass down to the next generation and to the next wave of newcomers to our shores,” the president said.

Splendid!

The White House posted a transcript of President Trump’s remarks to the newly minted Americans. Excerpts follow, emphases mine:

Each of you worked hard for this moment. You followed the rules, upheld our laws, and contributed to the strength and success and vitality of our nation. Now each of you stands here today, before your proud and beaming families — look at those families, huh? — in the Oval Office of the White House. A very special place. I look, and sometimes they say, “Wow, this is it.” Right? The Oval Office. So, congratulations.

I’d like to share a few brief words about each of our new citizens.

Estabraq Adel Al Sayyad came with her husband to the United Statesfrom Iraq in 2013. She is the proud mother of two children and is expecting a third. Since coming to America, she has become a teacher’s assistant in our public schools — doing a fantastic job, I might add — preparing the next generation of young Americans to make the most of this magnificent country that she, too, now enjoys. And I want to just congratulate you, Estabraq. Thank you. (Applause.)

Matthew Hemsley is from the United Kingdom. Thank you, Matthew. He is an Anglican pastor who came to the United States in 2006 and earned a master’s degree from Gordon Conwell Seminary in North Carolina. A fine place. His grandmother was an American citizen whose ancestors first came to North America in 1637 — that means you beat us — (laughter) — you beat all of us — as part of the Plymouth Colony. Now the Hemsley family history to the United States is renewed, and the next chapter of their American story begins. Matthew, it’s an honor. Great luck. Great luck. (Applause.)

Yook Young Choi is from South Korea and came to the United States in 1992 to pursue a master’s degree. She earned a PhD from the University of Maryland and is now a professor at Azusa Pacific University. Her husband teaches statistics at George Mason, and — it’s a great school too, by the way — and they are proud parents of two sons. I want to congratulate you, and you’re going to have a great time. Great time. Thank you very much. We really appreciate it. (Applause.) Appreciate you being a member of the family. Thank you.

Robert Castle is from Jamaica, and he immigrated to the United States in 2009 as the husband of a then-active duty service member of the United States Army. Robert is a warehouse supervisor — a strong guy, a smart guy — and they have a beautiful four-year-old son who was born here in the United States. Robert, congratulations. Thank you. (Applause.)

Marcelo Ramos Ramirez is from Bolivia and has a beautiful, lawful permanent resident of the United States, and has been since 2013. He is the co-owner of a staffing company with his son Marcio. The business is thriving. He’s doing really well. And it’s expanding in all different ways. He says, “I know that in the [United States] you can achieve anything that you want, and I am a perfect example.” In another words, he’s making a lot of money. (Laughter.) Marcelo, thank you very much. (Applause.)

You’re all at the beginning of a new and extraordinary adventure. With the rights and freedoms you enjoy as Americans, there is nothing you cannot achieve.

But citizenship is also a profound responsibility. Each year, over 700,000 new Americans take the oath and allegiance, and inherit a legacy of liberty and justice that generations of Americans fought and died to secure …

As Americans, and American citizens, we are bound together in love, and loyalty, and friendship, and affection. We must look out for each other, care for each other, and always act in the best interests of our nation and all citizens living here today. We love each other. We’re proud of each other.

The beauty and majesty of citizenship is that it draws no distinctions of race, or class, or faith, or gender or background. No matter where our story begins, whether we are the first generation or the tenth generation, we are all equal. We are one team and one people proudly saluting one great American flag.

Again, I want to congratulate you and welcome you to the family. It’s a family. It’s a beautiful family

What a moving ceremony that must have been.

I hope that this will become an annual tradition at the White House, at least during the Trump years.

May God bless these new citizens and may He continue to watch over the President, his family and his administration.

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