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Rome, New York – Sixty five candidates will become new citizens during a ceremony at Fort Stanwix National Monument on Thursday, September 16, 2010 from 11 a.m. to 12 noon. This is one of more than 20 naturalization ceremonies taking place in national parks during Citizenship Week under a partnership between the National Park Service and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The theme is "Embrace Citizenship – Experience America through your National Parks."
"Every year since 1999 we have been honored to host the naturalization ceremony in September," stated Debbie Conway, Superintendent of Fort Stanwix National Monument. "Having the ceremony at Fort Stanwix is a great way to introduce these new United States citizens to their National Parks."
The ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. and end at 12 noon, and will be held on the parade ground inside the fort. In the event of rain the ceremony will be moved to the County Court House located at the intersection of James and Court Streets.
"I can’t think of places more appropriate to welcome a new generation of American citizens than national parks," said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. "These parks, which are owned by all Americans, are not only places of stunning natural beauty and abundant wildlife, but across this country the nearly 400 national parks preserve our nation’s fascinating history and protect our rich cultural heritage. From the Aztec Ruins National Monument in New Mexico to Ellis Island in New York City, national parks ensure our nation’s artifacts and records are protected for generations to come."
The National Park Service and USCIS recently renewed a formal partnership to enhance citizenship ceremonies by holding them in national parks throughout the country. The agreement helps introduce new citizens to some of the nation’s most significant natural resources and cultural heritage sites. These historic and picturesque sites provide an ideal backdrop for citizenship ceremonies, where new citizens can learn about and reflect on American identity and the responsibilities of citizenship.
"Each year we recognize Constitution Day and Citizenship Day on September 17 to commemorate the signing of the U.S. Constitution and to reflect on what it means to be a citizen of this nation," said USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas. "While we continue to be enriched by our cultural and ethnic diversity, we remain united in our respect for the Constitution and to the foundational rights and responsibilities it represents."
Fort Stanwix National Monument is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission to the park is free. Activities are ongoing unless noted. For more information about upcoming events please call the park at (315) 338-7730. Please visit the park’s web page at www.nps.gov/fost for additional information about the park and up-to-date news about park events.