Highlights from a Naturalization Ceremony
by Jared Ahern, Law Clerk to the Hon. Sandra R. Klein and
Weiss Hamid and Behnam Mehdian, Externs to the Hon. Sandra R. Klein
On September 21, 2012, Judge Sandra R. Klein presided over a naturalization ceremony at the Los Angeles Convention Center during which 4,437 individuals were sworn in as United States citizens. In addition to the new citizens and their guests, Judge Klein’s law clerks and externs, as well as June Klein, Judge Klein’s mother, observed the ceremony. Before she brought the gavel down and the applicants became citizens, Judge Klein shared that two of her grandparents were naturalized citizens. And, she noted that they were so proud to be Americans, and to say the Pledge of Allegiance and everything that it stands for. During her remarks, Judge Klein highlighted all of the freedoms that are enjoyed by United States citizens: the freedom of religion, the freedom of speech, and the freedom to elect government officials.
Judge Klein quoted from a number of former presidents and she concluded her remarks with the following quote from our sixth President, John Quincy Adams: “You will never know how much it cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it.” She urged the new citizens to make good use of the freedoms that they enjoy as United States citizens and to help take care of our country.
Approximately 30 of the individuals who were sworn in during the naturalization ceremony were members of the Navy, Army, Air Force and other armed forces. After the ceremony, Judge Klein shook hands with each of these new citizens and thanked them for serving our country.
The event’s highlights also included the newly sworn-in citizens listening to and singing along with the song I'm Proud to be an American and viewing a congratulatory video from President Obama. The naturalization ceremony was a heartwarming, moving event and it was a good reminder of all of the rights and privileges that are an integral part of being a United States citizen.