A previous naturalization ceremony at Bandelier National Monument. Courtesy/NPS
July 4th is traditionally a day when Americans celebrate freedom and independence. For the eighth year, Bandelier National Monument is proud to partner with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services to host a naturalization ceremony in the park on that day.
Fifteen candidates from 12 countries, after working for years to fulfill their requirements, will be taking the oath and becoming the newest citizens of the United States. They come from Australia, China, France, Denmark, Germany, India, New Zealand, Mexico, Philippines, Russia, United Kingdom and Vietnam.
The ceremony begins at 11:00am, behind the Bandelier Visitor Center in Frijoles Canyon. The keynote speaker will be Bandelier Superintendent Jason Lott. Representatives from New Mexico’s Congressional Delegation will be in attendance.
Members of the community help make the ceremony a success including the Rotary Club with refreshments; well-known local singer Alicia Solomon leading the National Anthem; the Los Alamos County Clerk, the Daughters of the American Revolution, Flowers by Gillian and Atomic City Transit. The Medicine Mountain Dancers from Santa Clara Pueblo will present traditional, pueblo dances and Dolores Toya from Jemez Pueblo, will be demonstrating pottery making. The New Mexico Wildlife Center from Española will be bringing a bald eagle, making the occasion all the more patriotic.
The ceremony is not reserved for just the candidates and their families; members of the public are welcome to attend and perhaps take this opportunity to reaffirm their own commitments as American citizens.
Because parking is extremely limited in the Bandelier Visitor Center area, everyone wishing to attend must catch the free park shuttles from the White Rock Visitor Center. Buses depart every 20 minutes beginning at 9 AM, and the last run returns to White Rock at 5 p.m. from Bandelier.
About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees who care for America’s 417 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Visit us at http://www.nps.gov, on Facebook www.facebook.com/ nationalparkservice, Twitter www.twitter.com/ natlparkservice, and YouTube www.youtube.com/ nationalparkservice.