Naturalization Ceremony At Historic Courthouse

Swearing-in Ceremony

"Liberty is a blessing, and a blessing that must be constantly nurtured. A true American lives those ideals and carries out their duties and obligations of citizenship." — Judge Stephen Bough


THURSDAY, AUGUST 11, 2016

Nineteen immigrants — from 19 different countries — gathered together at the Truman Courthouse in Independence Thursday afternoon. They sat before the judge's bench inside the famous Brady Courtroom, a fittingly historic setting for what would be for these men and women a history-making day. 

The day they all became Americans.

Just moments before they took their Oath of Allegiance to the United States, Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. congratulated the soon-to-be new U.S. citizens. He realizes for many of them the journey to citizenship may have been decades in the making.

"Every new citizen has something of value to contribute to our community, and I'm honored  to participate in this memorable ceremony," White said.

100 Percent American



Isabel Bateman moved to the U.S. from Columbia nine years ago. After taking her oath and receiving her naturalization certificate, she declared, "Today, I feel 100 percent American."

Federal judge Stephen Bough oversaw Thursday's ceremony. He, like County Executive White and David Douglas, District 15 Director for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, urged the 19 new citizens to exercise their right to vote and be active participates in their communities.

"Liberty is a blessing, and a blessing that must be constantly nurtured," Judge Bough said. "A true American lives those ideals and carries out their duties and obligations of citizenship."

Special Series Of Ceremonies



This special naturalization ceremony was the third in a series of 13 being held across the nation to commemorate the 19th Century pioneers, many of them immigrants, who settled in the American west. The courthouse on Independence Square was the departure point for wagon trails setting out onto the Oregon, California and Santa Fe trails — a fact commemorated earlier this with the unveiling of a historic marker.
New citizen receives his certificateJudge Stephen Bough hands out the naturalization certificates.

Frank White speaks to the new citizens
Frank White, Jr. welcomes the naturalized citizens to the community.

MapThe 19 men and women who became naturalized citizens during Thursday's ceremony came from 19 different countries:
1. Mexico
2. Haiti
3. Dominican Republic
4. Columbia
5. Venezuela
6. Sierra Leone
7. Morocco
8. Benin
9. Nigeria
10. Kenya
11. Germany
12. Serbia
13. Turkey
14. Iraq
15. India
16. China
17. Vietnam
18. Taiwan
19. Phillippines