Naturalization ceremony to be held at Carver National Monument

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May 22—The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri will naturalize nearly 60 new citizens at 11:30 a.m. Thursday at George Washington Carver National Monument near Diamond.

The event's applicants represent nearly 30 countries, including Bangladesh, Ghana, Nepal, South Africa and Yemen.

Judge M. Douglas Harpool will preside over the ceremony. Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School's upper school vocal ensemble will perform the national anthem and "America the Beautiful." Members of Joplin High School's Junior ROTC will serve as the ceremony's color guard.

Guest speakers will include:

—Park Superintendent Jim Heaney.

—Crowder College board of trustees member and naturalized citizen Nicolas Olivares-Diaz.

—Attorney Jarica Oeltjen with the Springfield Metropolitan Bar Association.

—Jimmy Sexton, vice president of the Carver Birthplace Association.

Representatives from the offices of U.S. Sens. Josh Hawley and Eric Schmitt, and U.S. Rep. Eric Burlison will also be in attendance.

There will be a short reception for the new citizens and their guests, hosted by the Carver Birthplace Association, immediately after the ceremony.

The National Park Service partners with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to host naturalization ceremonies in national parks.

"It is fitting that we are honoring citizenship at the birthplace and childhood home of one of America's truly remarkable citizens, George Washington Carver," Heaney said in a statement. "We are all looking forward to celebrating how culturally diverse and dynamic our nation truly is."

The monument is located 2 miles west of Diamond on Route V, then a quarter-mile south on Carver Road.

For details, call 417-325-4151.