Thursday, May 20, 2010

Proud To Be An American!


Yesterday, we in Alabama welcomed 60 brand new United States citizens, from 30 different countries! Thanks to Nick Patterson from the Birmingham Museum of Art, I was invited to photograph the first U.S. Naturalization Ceremony ever held outside a federal courthouse in our district! The Honorable Sharon Lovelace Blackburn, Chief United States District Judge, presided and what a moving ceremony it was. I'll admit I got tears in my eyes when those men and women raised their hands and took the oath. Earlier I had a delightful time photographing many of them with their proud families. The Daughters of the American Revolution and the Colonial Dames of America were on hand to give out flags and lapel pins for everyone. A great day to be an American! I have many more photographs to share, but this one spoke to me as the very essence of this day

May I just say once again, what a special privilege it is for me to do this blog and be a part of the extraordinary things going on in my city each and every day.

15 comments:

Olivier said...

beau portrait avec de belles couleurs chaudes

Tash said...

All right! Mr. Patterson found the RIGHT photographer. The number of countries is impressive. Brings back memories of my naturalization at the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion (LA's concert hall). The orchestra was full and the ceremony was very moving...I remember liking the judge that spoke very much...brought tears to my then unsentimental 18-yr-old eyes.

A couple of years ago, I was getting my passport renewed at the Federal Building, and an elder gentleman in a summer seersucker suit, with hat and cane, and his son or younger relative were called to the window to get their passport - the older man said, "God bless America" - brought tears to my (now sentimental) eyes.

A lovely post, V. Thx for bringing back the memories.

Dina said...

They should put this photo of yours on the dollar or in the US passport. Very moving.

I kind of wish we in Israel had something similar. But here, with the Law of Return, becoming a citizen is just a normal thing with no fanfare. Taken for granted.

Rambling Round said...

Great photo, and what an honor to be asked to photograph the ceremony!

brattcat said...

You've captured the essence of this extraordinary experience perfectly in this image, V. Will you show us more from this day, please?

Virginia said...

Tash, I'm glad this brought back good memories foryou!

Dina,
Sad that it is taken for granted!

RR,
I wasn't the only photographer covering the event but I sure had fun doing it.

Brattcat,
Oh yes, many more for you !

Olivier,
Merci!

B SQUARED said...

We welcome them!

altadenahiker said...

Your photo captures how deeply touching this must have been.

Thérèse said...

Always very moving! Especially when we listen to the stories behind each one of these individuals...

TheChieftess said...

A wonderful photo V...it absolutely captures the moment...

All four of my grandparents were immigrants and naturalized citizens...while I wasn't in attendance at their ceremonies, I did experience the feelings of gratitude and honor of being an American, through my grandfather, who was the only grandparent still alive when I was born. In addition, years ago, I had the honor of celebrating the naturalization of two new citizens who I used to work with...it's a moving experience!!!

Mister Earl said...

Dina: I don't think your really meant that a person who comes to Israel and becomes a citizen under the Law of Return takes it for granted. I'm guessing that most who make Aliyah (become citizens of Israel) do it because of a strong commitment to the idea of a Jewish State or because the situation in their country of origin is intolerable. Although Israelis may not be given to public fanfare, I doubt anyone takes it for granted.

Daryl said...

Welcome to the land of opportunity!

Nathalie said...

Nick Patterson knew what he was doing. A wonderful shot, as could be expected.

Kim said...

A very touching and perfect shot that conveys your emotions and these new fellow citizens' big commitment. Hope you continue to receive these invitations to scenes you might not see otherwise and be able to keep stretching your wings and developing your photography chops in the community. So cool!
-Kim

steviewren said...

Virginia, what a wonderful thing to be a part of...how I envy your passport to such great events. I have to visit your blog to catch up on all the great things happening in my own city!