News Release Date: August 23, 2016
Contact: Kathy Kupper, 202-208-6843
More than 100 ceremonies to be held this year at national parks and historic sites nationwide
WASHINGTON — U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service on August 25 by welcoming 450 new U.S. citizens during 16 naturalization ceremonies at national parks across the country. These ceremonies are representational of the partnership between USCIS and NPS, and are a large step towards our goal of holding at least 100 naturalization ceremonies in national parks throughout this centennial year.
"As we celebrate the 100th birthday of our National Park Service on August 25, 450 new Americans will also celebrate the fulfillment of their dreams of citizenship at some of our nation's most historic sites," USCIS Director León Rodríguez said. "At USCIS, we believe that being an American means understanding and honoring our history and the places the National Park Service is charged to protect. We look forward to continuing to welcome new U.S. citizens and protecting 'America's Best Idea' for the next 100 years."
The NPS has partnered with USCIS on promoting awareness and understanding of citizenship since 2006. Since the launch of the partnership, the has hosted naturalization ceremonies for thousands of new Americans at sites across the country including on the rim of the Grand Canyon, on the Civil War battlefield at Vicksburg National Military Park, the base of Mount Rushmore, Ellis Island, and at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool.
"It is especially meaningful to celebrate our 100th birthday with a series of naturalization ceremonies in national parks throughout the country," said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. "National parks tell the stories of notable people, great achievements, and monumental events that shaped our nation, our government, and our society. These magnificent places belong to all Americans and we invite everyone, especially our newest citizens, to Find Your Park."
A source of pride and enjoyment for all Americans, national parks also provide an ideal setting for learning about the United States. Prospective citizens studying for the naturalization test can find answers to test questions such as "Who wrote the Declaration of Independence?" and "Name one problem that led to the Civil War" and "Name one U.S. territory" by visiting a national park.
USCIS' activities for the celebration on August 25 will feature naturalization ceremonies at Grand Canyon National Park, the World War II Memorial, and Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine.
USCIS Director León Rodríguez will administer the Oath of Allegiance and join Gay Vietzke, superintendent of the National Mall and Memorial Parks, in welcoming 40 new Americans at the World War II Memorial, while USCIS Deputy Director Lori Scialabba will administer the Oath of Allegiance and deliver congratulatory remarks to 20 new Americans at Grand Canyon National Park.
Deputy Secretary of the Interior Mike Connor will join Department of Homeland Security Deputy Assistant Secretary Sarah Morgenthau in welcoming 50 new Americans at Fort McHenry National Monument.
Other ceremonies on August 25 include events at:
·Biscayne National Park in Homestead, Florida.
·Fort Smith National Historic Site in Fort Smith, Arkansas.
·Big Thicket National Preserve in Kountze, Texas.
·Harpers Ferry National Historical Park in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.
With the 16 ceremonies on August 25, USCIS will have held 78 naturalization ceremonies in national parks so far this year. To view a complete list of naturalization ceremonies held in units of the National Park Service today, please visit uscis.gov/news[CSS1].
We encourage new citizens, their families and friends to share their experiences and photos from naturalization ceremonies held at National Park Sites on social media using the hashtags #newUScitizen and #FindYourPark.
About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 412 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Visit us at https://www.nps.gov, on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.