County welcomes 63 new citizens

| 30 Sep 2011 | 08:43

GOSHEN — It was a special day for 63 people as they became Orange County’s newest citizens at the Naturalization Ceremony recently hosted at the Government Center in Goshen. County Clerk Donna L. Benson administered the Oath of Allegiance, with the Honorable Jeffrey S. Cohen, NYS Supreme Court, presiding. Taking the Oath, the final part of the naturalization process, the new citizens renounced all foreign allegiance and swore to support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America. Following the oath, the assembled audience recited their first Pledge of Allegiance as U.S. citizens. “No matter how many times I administer the Oath of Allegiance, it continues to be a very moving experience,” said Benson. “For some, they’ve waited many long years to raise their hand and swear the oath.” She recognized one woman who had waited 42 years for the opportunity. The new citizens represented 31 countries, from Albania to Yemen. The youngest was 21, the oldest 65. Included in the ceremony was one family, a brother and sister, a husband and wife, and a mother and son. Michael Pillmeier, chairman of the Orange County Legislature, was the featured speaker. “It is my honor and pleasure to be here today to recognize 63 people who have chosen to be citizens of our great United States,” said Chairman Pillmeier in his remarks. “I applaud you for your decision and welcome you as an American citizen.” As they congratulated each new citizen, Alice Meola and Linda Burroughs of the Daughters of the American Revolution presented a small American flag. Naturalization ceremonies are held six times a year at the Orange County Government Center. This was the last swearing in for 2010.