Beatrice Celebrates Constitution Day 10/1/14 09/30/14 10:22:01 PM
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Homestead National Monument in Beatrice was a picturesque setting for Judge F.A. Gossett to administer the Oath of Allegiance to 59 new U.S. citizens.
Beatrice Celebrates Constitution Day
By Swearing In 59 New U.S. Citizens
By Janet Bancroft
The Daily Record
Nebraska’s state and federal court systems joined together on a sunny afternoon at the Homestead National Monument in Beatrice to create a picture-perfect Naturalization Ceremony and Constitution Day celebration on September 17, 2014.
United States Magistrate Judge F.A. Gossett told the high school students in attendance about the promise America makes to its citizens.
The Nebraska Supreme Court and the Nebraska State Bar Foundation held their annual law-related education program in conjunction with the Homestead National Monument, who, in turn, coordinated a Naturalization Ceremony with the Federal Court system.
The education program, designed for high school students, included a rapid-fire series of questions on the constitutional convention and origins of our founding documents. Questions like: “What are the first three words of the Constitution?” and “What stops one branch of government from becoming too powerful?”
Students from Norris and Mullen packed the auditorium and, more often than not, fired back the correct answers.
The law-related education session was led by Judge Paul Korsund of Beatrice whose wife, Bernadette, is a naturalized citizen. Both Korslunds volunteer at the Monument.
Nebraska State Certified Court Interpreter Raul Escobar, a naturalized citizen, spoke about access to the justice system for Nebraska’s non-English speaking population and the rights and responsibilities of American citizens. Omaha attorney Anita Mayo, also a naturalized citizen, described her entry into the United States at the age of four and set the stage for the Naturalization Ceremony that followed.
The students watched as 59 individuals took their Oath of Allegiance in front of United States Magistrate Judge F.A. Gossett. Judge Gossett is a former state court judge from Eastern Nebraska.
Judge Gossett told the participants that, “America promises you the pursuit of happiness, but it does not promise you will be happy.”
Constitution Day is a day set aside to observe the signing of the United States Constitution on September 17, 1787. Through Federal legislation enacted in 2004, the annual commemoration of the Constitution is mandatory for schools that receive federal funding. The Nebraska Supreme Court and the Nebraska State Bar Foundation annually cooperate to provide Nebraska teachers with resources for Constitution Day celebrations.