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Candidates from numerous countries will become new citizens during a ceremony at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore on Thursday, July 21, 2016. This year, 100 ceremonies will be held in parks nationwide to commemorate the National Park Service's Centennial and invite a new generation of Americans to national parks. The National Park Service and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services have an official partnership that encourages both agencies to co-host naturalization ceremonies in these special places set aside for public enjoyment and historical commemoration.
“How fitting to take the oath of citizenship here at Sleeping Bear Dunes” stated Superintendent Scott Tucker. “National Parks are a uniquely American idea. It is an honor to welcome these new citizens here at the National Lakeshore.”
The ceremony will take place at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, July 21, at the Sleeping Bear Point U.S. Life-Saving Service Station, west of Glen Haven Historic Village. Park visitors need only purchase the park entrance pass or have an annual pass displayed in their vehicle to witness this moving ceremony. Passes may be purchased at the Philip A. Hart Visitor Center in Empire.
“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 more than 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 U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services partnership 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.