Remarks by U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See Callista L. Gingrich at a Military Naturalization Ceremony
May 25, 2018
Good afternoon. I am so honored to be with you and to welcome you as fellow Americans.
You entered this room as citizens of the Philippines, Ghana, Mexico, Jamaica, Italy, Haiti, and Moldova, and will leave today as citizens of the United States of America. It’s a remarkable moment that I know you and your families will cherish.
As I watched each of you raise your right hand and recite the oath of allegiance, to protect and defend the Constitution and the laws of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, I was reminded of just how unique and exceptional our country is.
America is a nation bound by a common commitment to liberty, justice, and equality – not by bloodlines, ethnicity, or adherence to any one political party or religion.
For some of you, this is not the first time you’ve sworn an oath to support and defend America. You did so, when you joined our nation’s armed forces, to serve and protect the ideals for which the United States stands. You are honorable examples of America’s proud heritage of immigration and service.
The United States recognizes May as “Military Appreciation Month,” when we honor and remember the service and sacrifice of our military personnel and their families. I can’t imagine a more fitting time to hold this special ceremony.
Our forefathers, like you, understood that our freedom is not free. It has been secured and preserved through the sacrifice and bravery of every generation.
When our Founding Fathers emerged from the Pennsylvania State House on July 4, 1776, and declared independence from Great Britain, they knew that simply declaring something and achieving it were two different things. For seven years our forefathers bravely fought a war of independence – to create a nation where all are free.
Today, as we celebrate your achievement, we must also remember the responsibilities conferred upon each of us as citizens of this great nation.
Our country’s future depends on active citizenship. These duties are enshrined in the preamble of our Constitution, which proclaims, “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty.”
I congratulate each of you for your achievement, and thank you for your service to our country.
May God bless you. And may God bless the United States of America.