NYSBA President Honors 25 New Americans at Naturalization Ceremony
New York State Bar Association president Sherry Levin Wallach was honored to address 25 new citizens during a naturalization ceremony Friday Sept. 16 in Dutchess County.
With Dutchess County Supreme Court Justice Christi J. Acker presiding, Dutchess County Clerk Brad Kendall gave the oath of citizenship to the new Americans who came from 19 different countries. The event was held in the Dutchess County legislative chamber in conjunction with Constitution Day, which is observed each year on September 17.
President Levin Wallach thanked the new citizens for their hard work and study in preparation for citizenship. She recounted her own immigrant roots, detailing her family’s emigration through Ellis Island from Bessarabia, Romania, and Austria. Her address focused on the rule of law.
“The rule of law is the foundation from which the promise of America may be fulfilled. The promise of America is our aspiration. We aspire to be free, fair, equal in a democratic society with opportunity for all.”
Levin Wallach also challenged the new citizens to become active in our democracy and celebrate diversity.
“What makes us different from other long-standing democracies is the diversity of our citizenry – our backgrounds, our culture, our points of view and the color of our skin. We are much richer for our differences,” she said.
The event concluded with each citizen receiving a certificate, a flag and a copy of the U.S. Constitution presented by Levin Wallach.
Watch a recording of the event here.