A message from Glenn A. Grant, acting administrative director of the courts.
Applicants for U.S. citizenship take the oath of allegiance during a Law Day naturalization ceremony at the Richard J. Hughes Justice Complex in Trenton on May 1.
Picture this: Waving flags, the national anthem, and a crowd of cheering Americans.
No, this wasn't a baseball game.
It was a naturalization ceremony that kicked off Law Day festivities at the Richard J. Hughes Justice Complex in Trenton on May 1.
“All of us are invigorated by this process,” Chief Justice Stuart Rabner told 50 applicants, their families and those who work in the justice complex before administering the oath of allegiance.
The Judiciary partnered with New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety, the New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission and the New Jersey Office of the Public Defender to host a day-long series of activities to celebrate Law Day.
The day began with the chief justice administering the oath to the new citizens.
He told them the country is strong because it’s a nation of immigrants.
Chief Justice Stuart Rabner congratulates a woman after she receives her Certificate of Naturalization. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service issues the certificates as proof that a person obtaining U.S. citizenship through naturalization.
“Each of you has your own journey, your own story leading up to this point,” the chief justice said. ““Today we will all share a common bond. We will all be Americans.”
The new citizens, who hailed from more than 30 nations, waved flags as relatives and employees who lined the balconies above the lobby applauded and cheered enthusiastically.
The chief justice later met with winners of the Law Day 2009 YouTube Video Contest, in which middle and high school students created original videos celebrating Abraham Lincoln’s legacy. The national theme for this year’s Law Day is “A Legacy of Liberty: Celebrating Lincoln's Bicentennial.” The contest was sponsored by the New Jersey State Bar Association.
Paul Reilly of the New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission sings the Star-Spangled Banner to open the ceremony.
New Jersey Public Defender Yvonne Smith Segars spoke to invited youth from the Juvenile Justice Commission (JJC) about the differences between the juvenile and adult justice systems.
Attorney General Anne Milgram hosted a lunchtime lecture by Marc Mappen, executive director of the New Jersey Historical Commission. Mappen gave a presentation on the one-day visit made by Lincoln to New Jersey on his historic train journey from Springfield, Ill. to Washington, D.C. for his inauguration in 1861.
Courthouses throughout the state held events and celebrations to mark Law Day. Details of those events will be published in the summer edition of the Judiciary Times.