Friday, August 24, 2012 – Glen Haven
“Hear ye, hear ye. The Federal Court for the Western District of Michigan is now in session. The Honorable Ellen S. Carmody, presiding.”
These words rang out across the dunes, as the first-ever US Citizen Naturalization Ceremony began at the Life-Saving Station, near Glen Haven.
Twenty-seven individuals from 20 countries were administred their oath by U.S. Magistrate Judge Ellen S. Carmody. Following the oath and her remarks to the new citizens, a spectacular, low-level fly-by was performed by a flight crew from the US Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City.
In addition to Judge Carmody, Mick Dedvukaj, District Director for the Detroit District of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, welcomed the new citizens and presented them with their certificates.
Park Superintendent, Dusty Shultz, also welcomed them. In her address she challenged the new citizens: “These Parks, Monuments, Memorials, Battlefields, Historic Sites and yes, Lakeshores are all yours to experience! I encourage you to seek them out, visit them to recreate, be inspired by their natural beauty and serenity, and to establish family memories.
“Know, too, that your national parks symbolize democracy, sacrifice, and heroism and are the perfect places to learn and reflect about what America is, and who Americans are.”This was the first time such a ceremony was conducted at the Lakeshore. Superintendent Shultz remarked that she hopes this will be a regular, future event.
Also participating in the ceremony were Scouts from Boy Scout Troop 115 (Acme), Girl Scout Troop 440 (Traverse City), and Susan Pocklington of Empire, who sang our National Anthem and America, the Beautiful.
Everyone - new citizens, family members, and guests - enjoyed refreshments provided by Central United Methodist and Grace Episcopal churches of Traverse City, and the Presbyterian and United Methodist churches of Leland.
Thanks to all the Park staff and volunteers who helped make this event such a success!