President Bush Attends Naturalization Ceremony
at DAR Headquarters
WASHINGTON, DC -- The DAR was proud to host President George W. Bush at its Washington, D.C. National Headquarters on Monday, March 27, 2006. The President gave the keynote address at a naturalization ceremony held in the DAR OByrne Gallery, which was organized by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a division of the Department of Homeland Security.
Thirty new citizens were administered the Oath of Allegiance by the Director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Dr. Emilio T. Gonzalez. The U.S. Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales led the Pledge of Allegiance and introduced the President.
In his remarks, President Bush thanked the Daughters of the American Revolution and DAR President General Presley Wagoner for hosting the event. He also acknowledged that it was fitting that the event was being held in the DAR building and expressed gratitude for the work that DAR has done with immigrants over the years.
"Those of us who have been citizens for many years have responsibilities as well. Helping new citizens assimilate is a mission that unites Americans by choice and by birth," said President Bush. "I appreciate the work of patriotic organizations like the Daughters of the American Revolution. Some of the new Americans here today might have used the DAR Manual for Citizenship to prepare you for the citizenship test."
DAR President General Presley Wagoner greeted President Bush upon his arrival to DAR Headquarters. He told her how pleased he was to be holding this important ceremony in the beautiful DAR building.
"It was a pleasure and a privilege to welcome the President of the United States and the U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to our headquarters as well as Emilio Gonzalez and Alfonso Aguilar from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services," said President General Wagoner. "It was moving to be a part of a ceremony celebrating people from all over the world who have embraced this country as their own both the opportunities as well as the responsibilities and who have committed themselves to being active American citizens."
Mrs. Wagoner congratulated and visited with the new citizens at the close of the ceremony. One attendee approached Mrs. Wagoner to tell her he applauded the DAR efforts of assisting immigrants and supporting them during naturalization ceremonies. He told her of his attending a naturalization ceremony in Pennsylvania and how moved he was at the large role the Pennsylvania Daughters played at the ceremony.
Since its founding in 1890, DAR has been highly sympathetic and encouraging to U.S. immigrants and helpful in introducing them to the rights and responsibilities of citizenship. From the rehabilitation centers it established on Ellis Island in the 1920s, to the citizenship preparation classes DAR volunteers administer, to DAR members participation in naturalization ceremonies across the country, the DAR and its members contribute greatly to welcoming new citizens and helping them to assimilate into American culture. The DAR Manual for Citizenship, which was first published in 1921, has been distributed to nearly 10 million immigrants and their families, and serves as an important resource for civic education. The DAR Manual for Citizenship in its entirety can now be accessed online on the DAR Web Site.
The National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, a worldwide service organization with nearly 3,000 chapters, is devoted to promoting patriotism, historic preservation, and education. With almost 168,000 members, it has been one of the nation's most active service organizations since its founding in 1890. In just a few examples: Daughters provide financial support for scholarships, fund schools for abused and abandoned children, and volunteer time to local programs such as literacy tutoring. Members contribute thousands of hours of volunteer time in the nations VA hospitals each year as well as provide support and encouragement to active military personnel through various programs. In communities across the country, local chapters distribute thousands of U.S. Flags each year, and welcome thousands of new citizens. For more information on the work of the DAR and how to become a member, visit www.dar.org.