Naturalization Ceremony

U.S. History Field Trip

                Mrs. Peterson’s 8th grade Honors U.S. History Class was privileged to go to a Naturalization Ceremony at the Salt Lake Center for the Arts Theatre on Wednesday, February 22nd.   At the ceremony, they watched 187 people from over 58 different countries take the oath to become a citizen of the United States of America.  It was an amazing ceremony and those that became citizens were full of emotion.

                Students from SFJH were able to participate in the ceremony.  Justin Christensen and Caleb Sly presented the colors and Trevyn Zobell led the Pledge of Allegiance.  Erica Gebert sang the National Anthem and Kaitlin Adams gave a patriotic speech, after which Judge Sam asked for her and Erica to come back to the stand, asking for one more round of applause for the two and the amazing job they had done.

                The students watched as the many different nationalities stood and took the Oath of Citizenship.  When they had concluded, many turned and waved at their loved ones seated above them.  Others cried while some hugged the person next to them, whether they knew them or not.  You could see how important this was to them to finally be an American Citizen.

                After the oath was said, the different areas or continents were named and those from that area stood when it was called.  There were 44 from Central and South America, 41 from Mexico, 19 from Africa, 17 from Europe, 9 from Samoa, 8 from Hong Kong, India and the Middle East, 6 from Vietnam and the Far East, and 1 from Canada.   When all from one group stood, they were asked if anyone wanted to say a few words.  Many of the people who spoke told about the hard times they had been through and how they came here because where they once lived they had no future, but here, they could choose for themselves.  Alex Boye from England and Africa has been living in the United States for 10 years and is in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. He talked about how he has sung the National Anthem hundreds of times in the past ten years, but, quote “the next time I sing the National Anthem, it’ll be different, now that I’m a citizen of the United States,” end quote.  At that moment, Judge Sam gave Alex the opportunity to sing it on the stage.  He gladly accepted and he, along with many in the audience, cried throughout the whole song.  After the ceremony Alex talked to us once more, he told us to chase our dreams and to never give up.  The class heard many amazing things at the ceremony, the newest citizens had their trials, but it was all worth it.

                Mrs. Peterson’s class, along with other 8th grade U.S. History students, was able to go to the Utah State Capitol and look around.  The Gold Room was one of the places looked at and it amazed many at the beauty and worth of one room.  They were able to watch the Utah State Senate in session for a few minutes.  Also, while at the Capitol, some students were able to see the Governor as he walked down the hall, and a few were even able to shake his hand.  All had an amazing trip and enjoyed the many things they saw and heard during it.