Becoming an American citizen

From Meggan Ellingboe, The Daily Circuit assistant producer:

On The Daily Circuit this morning, we aired a couple pieces featuring new citizens taking the Naturalization Oath of Allegiance to the United States of America at the Fitzgerald Theater. When Tom Weber said he interviewed a couple of new citizens for the show, I recalled my ceremony and the American flag I received nearly 30 years ago.

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Now “recall” is a loose verb as I was only 3 years old, but it’s an event with an oral history told to me over the years. Below is a bit of what my mother had to say about my my big day becoming a citizen of the United States alongside my brother:

“Both of our children Meggan and Mason were adopted from Korea, in 1981 and 1986. They were exciting days as each of them became citizens. It marked the end of a long process for them and for us–from when we first saw a picture of them in Korea to when the adoption process was completed and they could rightfully become American citizens. There was a sense of pride for us and especially for them as we made the trip to St. Paul to the International Center. There was a ceremony there for all people becoming citizens that day. We remember people of all ages and ethnic backgrounds crowded into a room. The adults would have had to have taken classes and passed some testing. The children who were adopted, like ours, would become citizens once the formal adoption process was completed and an application was made for naturalization. We were allowed to take the oath for our children as their parents. I remember seeing people with tears in their eyes and a huge sense of accomplishment and hopefulness as the ceremony ended. Each person got an American flag and left the building waving those in excitement. It felt as if America was opening its arms to everyone there that day. We celebrated with our children by taking them out to eat and calling their grandparents.”

-Meggan Ellingboe, assistant producer