Courthouse Museum Dedication and Naturalization Ceremony Cape Girardeau April 30, 2010
I was able to attend the dedication of the Judicial Education and History Center at the US Courthouse in Cape Girardeau on April 30, 2010. The ceremony included a celebration of Law Day and a Naturalization Ceremony. It was a very powerful sign of hope to me. I attended because I wanted my five year old Grandson to see America in action. I told him how proud we should be of those applicants who had worked so hard to become American. I told him how blessed he was to be born American.
The program was perfect, well thought out, interesting and informative. I think it was the first time my Grandson had seen the posting of the colors and it was my privileged to teach him how to put his hand over his heart, stand at attention and look at the flag as the gentlemen from the American Legion post 63 brought them in and then carried them out again at the end of the ceremony.
The music before, after, and during, by a string and woodwind trio from Southeast Missouri State University along with the a cappella National Anthem by Professor Timothy Schmidt of Southeast, rang with patriotic beauty in that stately rotunda. Judge Lewis Blanton with an eye toward those who were just learning of our history and the school children present, made a history lesson that was alive and concise; and made me proud to remember our past and our national focus on the rule of law and the people, as opposed to other countries that rule by force. The comparisons where enlightening.
I have always been proud of Representative Jo Ann Emerson but never more so than in this setting, realizing how she truly has worked tirelessly for our district and made great accomplishments happen for Cape Girardeau including this Courthouse and the River Campus Performing Arts Center. Her name will not soon be forgotten and her accomplishments, sacrifices and vocation are a priceless gift to us and to be commended.
I was so privileged to hear the remarks of Judge Stephen Limbaugh Jr. His relaxed way of speaking, his sincerity, natural gifts and conscientious explanations of law in America were perfect. Thank you to Judge Limbaugh for coordinating this inspiring event. Dr Kenneth Dobbins President of Southeast Missouri State University honored us with humor and the everyday thoughts of life while complimenting our intelligence with his speech style and encouraging all of us to make the world a better place by our having been here. His calling the new applicants my fellow Americans put a lump in my throat and made us realize the very human desire in the room to move up higher, make our country proud and live life as true Americans in its fullest definition.
Senator Claire McCaskill was confident, straightforward and gifted in her delivery of inspiring thoughts for those new Americans and for us alike. As the mother of an Iraq War Veteran I could not help but choke up as she spoke about our duty to our country and a need for us to examine our level of sacrifice to it, knowing full well the cost. Her speech also gave us a window into the humanity of the state Government and a renewed appreciation of all those who give their life's work to the running of this country.
As the new Americans took their oath of allegiance to the United States Constitution, renouncing allegiance to any foreign countries, promising their defense of the Constitution against enemies "foreign and domestic", promising to serve in the United States Armed Forces when required by law and promising to perform civilian duties of "national importance" when required by law;
The words of it washed over me with pride; pride in my country, in my heritage and in my government, even with all its faults. I felt renewed thankfulness for this great blessing that God has given me, to be born American, to raise my children and grandchildren in America and to embrace those who have come to love America. They have studied hard to speak the language, dedicated their time and talents to her so that they can be called my fellow Americans. The day was amazing and I am so thankful to have been there.