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Archived from our former blog, The Beacon.

"Our Land, Our Country, Our Earth"

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USCIS commemorated the 40th anniversary of Earth Day by naturalizing citizenship candidates during special ceremonies held across the United States. The ceremonies embraced the theme "Our Land, Our Country, Our Earth."

During a special naturalization ceremony at the Department of the Interior on Wednesday, USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas administered the Oath of Allegiance and presented Kawther Elmi, a park ranger at the Lincoln Memorial and native of Ethiopia, with the Outstanding American by Choice recognition. National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis provided keynote remarks and told the new citizens about the cultural significance of our national parks.

Above: Director Mayorkas and National Park Service Director Jarvis applaud Outstanding American by Choice recipient Kawther Elmi

Before the ceremony began, Directors Mayorkas and Jarvis signed an amendment to a memorandum of agreement renewing a partnership between the Department of Homeland Security and Department of the Interior to enhance the meaning and stature of citizenship ceremonies nationwide. The partnership allows USCIS to hold special citizenship ceremonies at national park sites throughout the country.