Over 100 New Citizens Take Oath in Market Square

Mayor Allison Silberberg (left) shook hands with newly naturalized citizens on September 16, Citizenship Day. (Photo by Lucelle O’Flaherty)
Mayor Allison Silberberg (left) shook hands with newly naturalized citizens on September 16, Citizenship Day. (Photo by Lucelle O’Flaherty)

On a crisp day with blue skies overhead, over 100 people held up their right hands and swore allegiance to the United States of America. On Citizenship Day, Friday, September 16, at 2 p.m., in Market Square (301 King St.). the ceremony was led by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, with United States District Court Judge Gerald Bruce Lee and United States Magistrate Judge Theresa C. Buchanan presiding.

“The Citizenship Day celebration is a joyous reminder of who we are as Americans,” said Mayor Allison Silberberg. “In welcoming these new citizens, we honor our country’s heritage as a nation of immigrants, and celebrate the diversity these new Americans bring to our community, the Commonwealth, and our nation.”

To become a naturalized citizen, an individual must meet federal requirements including a period of continuous residence and physical presence in the United States; ability to read, write and speak English; knowledge and understanding of United States history and government; good moral character; and attachment to constitutional principles.

“Constitution Day and Citizenship Day,” which commemorates the adoption of the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787, celebrates American citizenship. Individuals and organizations are encouraged to discuss and cherish the privileges and responsibilities of citizenship in the United States, and honor both native-born and naturalized citizens.

In the event of inclement weather, the ceremony will be held in the Council Chambers, located on the second floor of City Hall.