This morning I was invited to photograph an official naturalization ceremony for a Muslim friend from Morocco. It was a beautiful and inspiring event. A hundred or so newly-minted citizens took the oath of office with family members and friends watching, and wiping tears.
It was truly an inspiring morning, including the thoughtful words from the judge and a guest speaker. The speaker talked about how he was born in Puerto Rico to a Puerto Rican mother and a father who had fled Castro’s Cuba to save his own life. Then a boy, the speaker told us how he resisted moving to Florida, but went with the family speaking no English. It wasn’t until he reached adulthood that he appreciated his citizenship, finally realizing the sacrifice of his parents.
The event was a gentle reminder of how we all have a heritage of immigrants, and that the fabric of this great country is woven from millions of strands of thread originating from all over the world and of every culture. Seeing all of those people proudly raising their hand to the square warmed my heart. They make us better.
Of course, it was in that light that I picked up Ollie to go on to the other important event of the day: voting! Today was election day in DC so I was able to follow up the patriotic morning with another patriotic event of scratching off a ballot as I saw fit. O proudly held the pencil so he earned a sticker. 🙂