National Park Service Celebrates 100 Years With Citizenship Ceremonies

Dean Franklin, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 2.0
Dean Franklin, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 2.0 / Dean Franklin, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 2.0

No matter your politics, we can pretty much all agree that National Parks are part of what makes America great. It’s only seems right then that the NPS has an ongoing partnership with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services [PDF] so that new citizens can experience the natural splendor of the country that’s welcoming them.

This year, in honor of the 100th anniversary of the NPS, 100 naturalization ceremonies are taking place all over the country. They started in May and will run through September, with all the normal proceedings—an introduction, the reading of the names of the countries of origin, the administration of the oath of allegiance, a video congratulations from President Barack Obama, songs, and of course, handing out certificates.

Pennsylvania's The Times Herald reports that at a ceremony in May, Valley Forge National Historical Park acting superintendent Pat Madden said the park was “honored” to be hosting the event.

“Valley Forge is a source of pride and inspiration to all Americans,” Madden said. “We are happy to introduce you to your national parks. The national parks all belong to you now. We encourage you to visit them and enjoy them.”

You can see all the upcoming ceremony locations over at the NPS website. They run the gamut of nationally protected spaces, from Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Michigan to Homestead National Monument of America in Nebraska to Yosemite National Park in California, with each park helping create a story as new citizens are being formally inducted, from coast to coast, and from sea to shining sea.

[h/t Atlas Obscura]