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On Wednesday, April 13, 2016, AmeriCorps State Volunteer and teacher Melissa Stephens traveled to Poplar Forest in Forest, VA to watch a special naturalization ceremony take place on Jefferson's birthday. Naturalization ceremonies are the final step in the process of becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen.

The bearers dressed in blue,

render their honorable salute.

The parade of flags dispense,

as song and pomp commence.

The names were called,

as we sat enthralled,

watching our new neighbors in joy.

The judge spoke in sternest

the message was earnest,

“Welcome to our land.”

We cheered and cried,

the struggle now aside;


you’ve been Naturalized!

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