Citizens

Sean posted yesterday with a photo of my newly uber patriotic office decor scheme (see below) but we thought you would like to see some photos of the great day.

Sarah, Will and I accompanied by Fr. Ryan Whitley, Mr. Pete Ricci, Dr. Janet Reddin and Mr. Robbie Farnsworth presented ourselves at the USCIS immigration building in Philadelphia at 9:00 in the most appalling weather.

Once inside the naturalization process began. There was a total of 66 people from 37 different countries becoming citizens that day – a most impressive variety and it made me wonder what all their different stories were, that lead them to that courtroom at that time. I suppose that’s a microcosm of the immigrant experience that’s been being told and lived by people from the beginning of America to our day doing the same.

After everyone’s certificates were checked for accuracy one last time the oath ceremony took place and we became Americans.From left to right: David, Will and Sarah

At the end of the ceremony, we were presented with our naturalization certificates.

We registered to vote and then were done.

After a quick coffee we all then dashed to the passport office to get new passports – expedited as I leave for the UK for a week with Casemate UK and then the London Book Fair on April 2.

At 5 pm we convened for a party at a bar/restaurant in Havertown. So many people came by; Fr. Bill Duffey, Fr. Steve Snider – our previous rector and interim at St George’s as well as our current Rector Fr. Ryan and his wife Elise and a multitude of our friends. My old colleague Ken Gallagher came by – he and I worked together when I first came over here at Combined Publishing 15 years ago. And then the guest of honor was Judith Schnell with her husband Jerry who traveled all the way from Harrisburg to be with us. Judith is the Publisher at Stackpole Books and we’ve known each other since 1988 – the year of my first Frankfurt Book Fair. I was 25 then!

So thanks to everyone who helped us celebrate and also to those who couldn’t be there and who sent us congratulation messages. It really was quite the day.

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