40 new citizens sworn in at CHS


Tucker McPartlin

New Amercians take the oath of citizenship during a March 16 naturalization ceremony at Concord High School.

Forty people from 23 countries official became United States citizens at Concord High School March 16 when CHS hosted New Hampshire’s monthly naturalization ceremony.

The ceremony is the culmination of an arduous United States citizenship application process that requires interviews and an exam that recent studies show most natural born citizens wouldn’t pass. 

The two-hour ceremony featured four speakers as well as the Concord High School Marching Band, Chamber Singers, a poetry reading, and the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag. 

CHS Principal Michael Reardon offered opening remarks that stressed the importance of American diversity and the ambition and hard work that new Americans regularly show in their citizenship process. 

Following his address, the ceremony was officially opened by Abby Tourville, the deputy clerk of naturalization for the District of New Hampshire. The next step in the ceremony was the motion for citizenship by Peter Stone, an employee of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. 

After the oath of citizenship had officially been given by Tracy Ulhrin, and the 40 new Americans had officially become citizens, the Honorable Judge Samantha Elliott of the District of New Hampshire offered brief remarks in which she stated that presiding over the ceremony was the “greatest honor” a federal judge enjoys, and that the nation is “stronger and a bit greater” because of its new citizens. 

She went on to speak about the important responsibilities of citizenship, namely protecting the rights that Americans enjoy, including the right to vote. 

CHS students were involved in the ceremony through the jazz band, which performed “America the Beautiful,” a reading of Maya Angelou’s poem “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by senior Kayla Taylor, and the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag offered by Nourhan Elhawawi, Rosima Darjee, Meta Mako, Ajay Darjee, and Yvette Uwase.

Chamber Singers sang the national anthem.