By Assunta Ng
I have attended the Fourth of July naturalization ceremony every year for the past 22 years.
Each time, the experience opens my heart and brings me joy. I remember my own swearing-in ceremony at the Immigration Courthouse like it was yesterday. The ceremony was short, cold, impersonal, and anticlimactic. A judge presided over 50 of us new citizens.
There were no VIPs, no music, no fanfare.
At the Seattle Center, I found Ellen Ferguson, another regular attendee of the event. Like me, she was inspired by the hopes and promises that these new citizens bring to their experiences in America. These new citizens will also be potential new voters. So a couple of savvy candidates were there to work the crowd, passing out campaign brochures to nearly 1,000 people.
Made in the USA
A few years ago, there was a public outcry about the fact that U.S. military uniforms were made in China. I’ve even found U.S. flags made in China before. On July 4, U.S. flags were given out for free to all visitors, including the 525 new citizens at the Seattle Center.
So where were the flags made this time?
“Made in the U.S.,” said the guy who handed out the flags.
Those flags were made differently than the ones I’ve seen made in China. The sides were stapled together, rather than glued. Americans always try to think of ways to innovate by doing it faster, cheaper, and more efficiently, while China’s cheap labor might allow workers to glue each flag by hand. (end)