This morning I headed down to Disney – I wanted to start the day with the 4th of July Naturalization Ceremony. 1000 new citizens in one place! The volume was lower than I'd like (fighting against the noise in Tomorrowland), I'd definitely like to hear every word next time. But it was a very special experience, knowing that those 1000 people (out of about 4000 today in the US) chose to become US citizens.
For the first time in memory, I was at a Magic Kingdom rope drop. I wasn't really needing to be there quite as early as I was, but I had no idea what to expect crowdwise!
Cast members welcoming the 4th of July crowds:
This is where I'd be for the program. I was expecting the swearing-in to take place on the stage, but the soon-to-be citizens were in chairs in front of the castle. Then familes/friends were in an area behind them, and then spectators after that. One of the most amazing parts of the ceremony for me was hearing how many countries they came from. Over 100, from all over the world (each country was announced).
Most of the photos were taken with my camera overhead (think of John Cusack with his boom box in "Say Anything". It doesn't pay to be short! 🙂
Walt Disney World President Meg Crofton:
Presenting the Colors, the 6th Air Mobility Wing Honor Guard (Macdill Air Force Base in Tampa):
Gloria Estefan sang the National Anthem:
Becoming new citizens (swearing in by Dr. Emilio Gonzalez):