Castillo de San Marcos National Monument held a naturalization ceremony in the fort on February 3rd in partnership with the Department of Homeland Security. Forty people from 21 different countries received their citizenship in front of family, friends, park visitors and staff.
The ceremony commenced with welcoming remarks by Anthony Womser, an Immigration Services officer, presentation and retirement of the colors by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, and comments by Gordie Wilson, the park’s superintendent. The oath of allegiance was administered by Kathy Redman, acting Southeast regional director, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Redman and Wilson also presented the naturalization certificates.
St. Augustine is the nation’s oldest continuous occupied city. It is a melting pot of cultural stories, a mix of Spanish, Minorcan and Native American history, plus Fort Mose, the first free black settlement on North America and a National Historic Landmark.
“The fort was an appropriate venue for this ceremony, a place where representatives of so many diverse cultures have come in search of a better life,” said Wilson.