By Maclin Sweeney, Protocol Intern
Last week I had the distinct pleasure to present an American flag, flown over the U.S. Capitol, to the most experienced new citizen at a naturalization ceremony. While this opportunity, alone, makes for an amazing story and experience, with the astounding variety of countries represented and the unique dichotomy between the solemnity of the proceedings and the feelings of celebration and joy felt by all at their finally becoming United States citizens, I am reminded of an old friend of mine who was naturalized about four years ago and the elation he experienced because of it.
My friend was naturalized just in time to register for the next elections, about which he was quite excited. When my friends and I heard that he was going to be naturalized we decided to do something special for him, as well as play a bit of a joke on him. We got him a U.S. flag that flew over the Capitol and presented it to him in congratulations (we also made a fake jury duty summons for him the same day, in good fun) for his naturalization. The look on his face and the look on the face of the woman I presented the U.S. flag to were nearly the same and brought memories flooding back from that day.
Both the look on my friend’s face and the look on the face of that new citizen reminded me of why I appreciate being a part of this nation and have helped to me appreciate, even further, my time spent here at The International Center. Whether it is in the Courthouse, along the fields of Michael Carroll Stadium, or at the office in downtown Indianapolis, the opportunities presented to me have been second to none.