Not only did the National Park Service celebrate its beginning on Wednesday, August 25th, but 17 residents of Michigan began their journey as American citizens in a naturalization ceremony held on the shores of Lake Superior at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan.
A gusty breeze blew off the lake as Representative Bart Stupak of Michigan’s First Congressional District welcomed the new citizens. Munising Mayor Rod DesJardins also welcomed the new citizens to the area, who originally hailed from ten countries including five from Canada; two from Germany, the Philippines and South Korea; and one each from Bangladesh, Japan, Liberia, Lithuania, Mexico, and Morocco.
Acting Superintendent Chris Case offered his congratulations and remarks on the day’s “new beginnings.” Department of Homeland Security United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Mick Dedvukaj from Detroit offered his welcome as well. The swearing in ceremony was officiated by the Honorable Janet T. Neff, United States District Court Judge for the Western District of Michigan, and Magistrate Judge Timothy P. Greeley, United States Magistrate Judge for the Northern Division of the Western District of Michigan of Marquette. The Colors were presented by the Roderick Prato American Legion Post 131 from Munising.
After the ceremony, a fish boil picnic dinner of Lake Superior whitefish was served to guests by John Anderson and his staff from the Timberdoodle Lodge.
The ceremony at Miners Castle continued a great tradition of holding naturalization ceremonies in national parks as new citizens become the proud new owners of America’s most treasured places.