Our booth was to promote Friends of the local library. We had planned to do a story time but we were so close to the stages, people were not only distracted but the music was too loud to read over.
But we DID have a giveaway -- we had four boxes of children's books left over from the children's book sale and we gave them away free. We managed to get rid of all of them! It was so fun seeing the kids get excited about FREE BOOKS!
The stage we were near featured dancers from various places, including the Middle East, Bolivia, US cloggers and tapdancers, and African drums. VERY cool.
But the BEST part of the day was the opening ceremony in which 23 people from 19 countries became U.S. Citizens by participating in a naturalization ceremony! Twenty-three people CHOSE to swear an oath to protect and defend this country, forsaking allegiance to all others. Two of those people are already on Active Duty in the U.S. Military!
This is the actual text of the oath:
I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.
After the swearing in, when we ALL said the pledge of allegiance together, I choked up. Now, I'm a mushy type of person for these kinds of events, so that didn't surprise me. But afterwards, when I turned around and looked at my teen daughter, she was wiping away tears as well.
I wonder if most of us really appreciate the accident of birth that made us Americans to begin with . . . that most of us didn't have to work hard to first, get here, and second, learn everything necessary to pass the citizenship test. This is INDEED a great country, and we are privileged to part of it.
Here are the flags of some of the countries represented yesterday: