The title of this post is taken from the Oath of Allegiance, administered to each candidate for citizenship as he/she is sworn in as citizen of the United States.
Today, Secretary Napolitano was at the Pentagon to administer the oath to 31 members of the military, three of whom are part of the Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest (MAVNI) pilot program. The new citizens hail from 20 countries across 5 continents, and collectively serve the United States in several branches of our armed forces.
“Since 9/11, we have helped more than 52,000 courageous soldiers, airmen, marines and sailors gain the benefits and rewards of U.S. citizenship,” said Secretary Napolitano. “I am proud to swear in these brave men and women who have come from all over the world to serve our country and become its newest citizens.”
The Secretary was joined in the courtyard at the Pentagon for the ceremony by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Alejandro Mayorkas.
Secretary Gates lauded the new citizens' service, saying:
"I thank you for defending the people of the United States, your people, and the self-evident truths they hold so dear."
Director Mayorkas presented all 31 candidtates to Secretary Napolitano as they were given their certificates, and Seaman John Zamora lead the new citizens and onlookers in the Pledge of Allegiance.
We'll have video soon.