What happens at a naturalization ceremony?
I do not know if all naturalization ceremonies are the same, so I can only elaborate on mine.
The main part of the ceremony is taking the Oath of Allegiance — pledging allegiance to the U.S. and renouncing allegiance to my country of birth, Kenya. Before taking the oath, two women from the League of Women Voters of Minnesota spoke about the importance of exercising our democratic right to vote and helped all attendees register to vote.
The ceremony was meaningful and emotional, as I had finally reached the end of a long journey. There were 45 people taking the oath with me from 26 different countries. Judge Susan Richard Nelson very warmly and sincerely swore us in as new citizens.
You could tell she really enjoyed presiding over these ceremonies. She acknowledged the difficulty of renouncing one’s country of birth, and went on to explain the importance of preserving one’s culture, food, language and traditions, as doing so enriches the lives of all of us in the U.S.
At the end of the ceremony, we all received our certification of naturalization, a congratulatory letter from the president and a U.S. flag. I am very appreciative of my coworkers, family and friends who were able to attend the ceremony, and it was a pleasant surprise to see Chris Hilger, Securian Financial’s chairman, president and CEO, there as well!
What is your current role and how long have you been at Securian Financial?
I have been at Securian Financial for 18 years. I started in what is now the Enterprise Technology division as an application developer. Six years later, I moved over to the Client File Management team in the Group Division. Three years ago, I joined Corporate Compliance as an information compliance analyst primarily working to develop and maintain compliance requirements for social media initiatives throughout the enterprise, as well as educating associates regarding our social media policies and procedures.