Faneuil Hall, in the heart of historic Boston, was built in colonial times as a marketplace and a meeting hall. In its second floor, Samuel Adams gave his early speeches encouraging his fellow citizens to seek independence from Great Britain. That is why I was thrilled when, many years ago, my Naturalization Ceremony was scheduled to take place in that same room.
If the National Park System is America’s best idea, I think the naturalization process has to be a close second. The naturalization ceremony is the capstone of a long and deliberate process that slowly but surely incorporates immigrants into their new home. The pledge of allegiance, the centerpiece of the ceremony ushers in all the privileges that come with citizenship together with all the obligations. Prime among those obligations, the presiding judge told us, was to make sure we exercised our franchise, in city, state and national elections.
I have taken this duty very seriously ever since I became a citizen. And today, Barnstorm is proud to join hundreds of civic minded companies in offering paid time off to vote. Voting is more than just a right or a duty, it is our small but fundamental part in making sure that our “government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
See you at the Polls!
Image credit: By en:User:Daderot – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5856442