For some reason the word “naturalization” makes me think of dipping someone into a vat of organic water, but although Webster’s first definition says it means “the quality of being brought into conformity with nature,” the legal meaning, of course, is to become a citizen.
Our good friend Julie became a citizen today, along with people from 33 other countries. She was given a tiny flag, a certificate, and an odd little book with excerpts from the Declaration of Independence, the Federalist Papers, Martin Luther King, and various Presidential speeches; “significant” Supreme Court decisions including Marbury v. Madison, West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette (the one that says kids in school don’t have to salute the flag) and Brown v. Board of Education, but omitting Roe v. Wade; and pictures of some twelve presidents beginning, of course, with Washington, moving along through those distinguished guys Coolidge and Hoover, leaving out Nixon and Carter, and ending, unfortunately, with George W. Bush.
The best part of the whole thing, though, was when the congratulatory video from the President came on, and it was Barack Obama. It’s always good to be reminded it’s our country again, and we’re so happy Julie’s here.