For the fourth year in a row, Bandelier National Monument is partnering with the United States Citizenship and Naturalization Services to host a naturalization ceremony at the park on Independence Day.
For Saturday’s ceremony, 18 candidates from 9 countries, after working for years to fulfill their requirements, will be taking the oath and becoming the newest citizens of the United States.
The candidates come from China, France, Iraq, Jordan, Mexico, the Phillipines, South Korea, Ukraine and Vietnam.
The ceremony begins at noon behind the Bandelier Visitor Center. Keynote speakers will be noted author, poet, music teacher and Los Alamos Living Treasure Stephanie Sydoriak, herself an immigrant — originally from Ukraine in 1913— and Bandelier Superintendent Jason Lott.
In addition, Michele Jacquez-Ortiz will also be speaking, representing New Mexico’s Congressional Delegation.
Alicia Solomon, noted soloist with the Santa Fe Opera, Symphony and Desert Chorale, will sing the National Anthem and Eagle Scouts from Troop 129 will parade the colors.
Refreshments will be provided by the Rotary Club and there will be flags, gifts and flowers for the new citizens.