Bellevue 9/11 Memorial Ceremony Welcomes New Citizens

Scott Stewart
The Daily Record

Bellevue – As American flags waved in the wind, following a moment of silence for those lost in the defense of America’s freedoms, a crowd welcomed a group of new U.S. citizens during a naturalization ceremony held as part of Bellevue’s annual 9/11 Memorial Ceremony.

Sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Bellevue, the ceremony also included a flag-folding by members of the VFW Post 10785, the Roll Call of the Fallen Heroes from Nebraska and western Iowa the laying of a ceremonial wreath and the playing of taps.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan M. Bazis administered the Oath of Allegiance and welcomed the new citizens to the United States.

“I want to congratulate our new citizens,” Bazis said. “I know this day has been a long time coming for many of you, and citizenship in this country is not an easy thing to achieve. It takes time, perseverance, money and sometimes personal pain, so thank you for becoming citizens.”

After taking their oath, the new citizens were invited to participate in the singing of the national anthem and Pledge of Allegiance, led by one of the new citizens.

Bazis told the new citizens that they should exercise and defend their freedoms under the Constitution, including the freedom to form and hold your own beliefs.

“You may hear voices in this land that say there is only one true American way to think and believe about political matters, economic matters and social matters,” Bazis said. “Do not believe it. As an American, you can freely and openly adhere to political, economic and social views on the right, on the left and anywhere in between. Simply stated, there is no single American way to think or believe. Indeed, conformality of thought and belief would be contrary to the underlying principles of this great nation.”

Bazis said the courts are here to defend Americans’ rights to freely, openly think and believe.

“However, we should all be reminded: every right creates a corresponding duty or responsibility, the duty as to so conduct ourselves as to not infringe on the rights of our fellow citizens,” Bazis said. “In this country, we promise you the pursuit of happiness. We do not promise you happiness. We promise you equality of opportunity, but we do not promise riches. We promise you freedom of speech, but we cannot promise you wisdom.”

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