Our Dr. Andrew Manu, George Washington Carver Endowed Chair recently attended a naturalization ceremony at the George Washington Carver National Monument in Missouri on May 30. About 60 people took the oath of allegiance, officially becoming United States citizens. The following article was written by Kay Hively for the Neosho Daily News. Editor Todd Higdon gave us permission to repost.
DIAMOND — It was a red, white and blue day as 57 people from around the world became American citizens yesterday in a ceremony at the George Washington Carver National Monument.
At the ceremony, Dr. Andrew Manu, from Iowa State University, was the principle sparker. Dr. Manu was born and raised in Ghana, Africa, but decided to seek a life in the United States. He gained his American citizenship in 1988.
Dr. Manu talked about how excited he was on the day he received his citizenship in Des Moines. It was a cold day in Iowa, but he said , “I was so excited, I would have been happy to rip my shirt off and run a lap around the Iowa Capitol.”
“People matter,” was the theme of his talk. He recommended a life like George Washington Carver, whom he described as “tender and strong.” And like Carver, he encouraged the new citizens to live a life of service “to each other,” and “to anyone you meet.“
Other speakers were Jim Heaney, Superintendent at Carver; Judge M. Douglas Harpool; Kim Mailes, executive Director the Carver Birthplace Association; State Representative Bill Reiboldt; and representatives from Senator Claire McCaskill, Senator Roy Blunt, and Congressman Billy Long.
Before administering the Oaths of Office, Judge Harpool, a native of Neosho, suggested the new citizens, as well as others, be patriotic. He reminded them that we Americans can run the country on our own. We don’t need a king, a dictator or a potentate, he said.
Naly Em, from Springfield, came to America from Cambodia and is looking forward to a full life in America. Asked her feelings, she replied, “I’m just happy. Happy the day has finally come.“
Jamie Thomas came to the Carver Monument with his fancily to get his citizenship. Originally from Wales, Thomas was excited and happy. His wife, Tiffany and their two children, Maggie and Darrell, were excited as well.
Thomas first came to America to be with his American wife, Tiffany. Thomas thought he was the first of his family to come. But recently he learned that his mother’s second cousin lives in the state of Washington. That was a nice surprise.
An overflow crowd attended the ceremony, and many were dressed in clothes representing the American colors, and they carried flags, flags, flags—all American flags.