Saturday, March 3, 2012


Two hundred thirty-six people.  Thirty-nine countries.  Diverse citizenships, diverse languages.  All about to become new citizens of the United States. Our daughter’s sister-in-law was one of those in this very long line waiting outside the U.S. Immigration Services building in Miami on February 24.

the line

After entering the building, those who would participate in the citizenship ceremony went one way, and the visitors were seated in the back of the fairly large room.

in the roomMusic was playing in the background, including “Battle Hymn of the Republic” sung by Elvis Presley, and “Proud to be an American.”  The soon-to-be citizens filed in and took their places in the chairs reserved for them.  A supervisor for the U.S. Immigration Services welcomed everyone, and all stood for the playing of the “Star Spangled Banner” and then for the pledge of allegiance to the flag, led by a man from Venezuela.

The supervisor then asked  anyone who had served in the U.S. military prior to that day to stand and be recognized.  After watching a video showing photos of immigrants over the past 230 years, the supervisor  asked that each person stand as the name of their original country was read.  Enthusiastic clapping from the visitors followed the name of each country, with citizens from those 39 countries ranging from 1 to 18.  Argentina (13), Columbia  (15), Haiti (18), Cuba (17), Nicaragua (16), and Venezuela (18) had the highest numbers.

All becoming naturalized citizens that day then stood, raised their right hands, and took the oath of citizenship.  The speaker noted that those folks had chosen to become U. S. citizens for various reasons:  freedom to practice the faith of their choice; freedom to live freely; freedom to pursue their dreams, which with hard work, they would be able to fulfill.  She urged them to be responsible citizens, to learn the issues and vote, to obey the laws, to respect others, to learn to compromise, to keep the areas where they reside safe.  Another video, “God Bless the USA” was played, and as each person received his or her certificate of naturalization, “Proud to be an American” was played again. Each new citizen also received a voter registration form and a U.S. passport application.

There was joy and excitement on the faces of the new citizens and on those of the visitors who had come to share in this wonderful experience.  Just outside the building was a replica of the Statue of Liberty, and many took photos next to it.

the girls Shown left to right are our daughter’s mother-in-law, Marina;  my 94-year old mother, Helen; Wendy (the new U.S. citizen), our granddaughter, Kayti, and me.  I learned so much that day and appreciated the citizenship ceremony more than I can say.  It all confirmed what I have always said about myself … if I weren’t already a citizen of the U.S., I would do everything possible to become one.  Diverse we are, but united we should stand, living and caring in such a way that we respect all. 

Speaking of diversity in another way, the members of the BBest team are very diversified in the mediums in which they choose to create wonderful handmade items.  Below are just a few of those creations.

annasjewelry montreal Annas Jewelry - Montreal

paintingsbykate ladd north carolina

Paintings by Kate Ladd – North Carolina

sylviel vermont

SylvieL – Vermont

sassalynne fleet england

Sassalynne – Fleet, England

katzscreations massachusetts

Katzs Kreations – Massachusetts

coloursandtextures london england

Colours and Textures – London, England

ajscountycottage missouri

AJs Country Cottage – Missouri

To view over 3000 items created by the Bbest team members, go to, then next to Handmade, enter Bbest team, and search.  You will be delighted at the variety of creations you find there.

This post written by Pam Todd, Bags and More by Pam, who creates hand-crocheted items for people, pets, and homes. This post published simultaneously at