Monday, Sep 30, 2013
For the third year in a row, the beautiful courtyard garden area of Tumacácori’s Spanish Colonial mission served as the backdrop for a naturalization ceremony on September 17th, Constitution Day and Citizenship Day.
This year, thirteen candidates were sworn in as new United States of America citizens. The new citizens, all from Mexico, including 90-year old Concepcion Gutierrez.
“What could be more American than becoming a new citizen on September 17th in one of your national parks,” asked Bob Love, the park’s superintendent during the keynote address. “These parks are owned by all Americans, and I encourage you to take full advantage of your newfound ownership of these great American places.”
Love addressed the group after U.S. District Court Judge Leslie Bowman administered the Oath of Allegiance.
Tumacácori hosted the ceremony through a formal agreement and partnership between the NPS and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service. The agreement helps introduce new citizens to some of the nation’s most significant natural and cultural heritage sites. National parks provide the ideal backdrop for naturalization ceremonies, where new citizens can learn about and reflect upon the stories that shaped our country.
The Rio Rico High School marching band and honor guard participated in this year’s event. In addition, the Friends of Tumacácori National Historical Park provided financial support for the ceremony.
Hosting a naturalization ceremony on Constitution Day and Citizenship Day has become an annual event at Tumacácori. Added Love, “with the support and assistance of the USCIS, we hope to host many more of these ceremonies in future years.”