America’s Newest Citizens Take the Stage at Monticello

New citizens celebrated Independence Day with a celebration and naturalization ceremony Thursday morning on the West lawn of Thomas Jefferson's Monticello estate.

26 photos
1/26
Sarah Pixley
New citizens celebrated Independence Day with a celebration and naturalization ceremony Thursday morning on the West lawn of Thomas Jefferson's Monticello estate. Since 1963, more than 3,000 people from every corner of the globe have taken the oath of citizenship at the annual Monticello Independence Day Celebration and Naturalization Ceremony
2/26
Sarah Pixley
A happy member of the crowd watches as new citizens of the United States take the oath of citizenship
3/26
Sarah Pixley
The ceremony was held on the West Lawn of Monticello. Pictured here is a member of the Charlottesville Municipal Band.
4/26
Sarah Pixley
The Thomas Jefferson Chapter of Sons of the Revolution kicked off the oath of citizenship.
5/26
Sarah Pixley
This July 4 marks the 237th anniversary of American independence.
6/26
Sarah Pixley
Miguel Garcia awaits to receive his certificate of naturalization.
7/26
Sarah Pixley
Musician David Matthews was the speaker for the ceremony. Matthews is a immigrant from South Africa who became a U.S. citizen in 1980.
8/26
The Thomas Jefferson chapter Sons of the American Revolution
9/26
Sarah Pixley
More than 7,000 new Americans will be sworn in around the country this week.
10/26
Sarah Pixley
A woman accepts her certificate of naturalization at the grounds of Monticello.
11/26
Sarah Pixley
Razvan Constantine Untaroiu accepts is certificate and a hand shake from Dave Matthews.
12/26
Sarah Pixley
Nina Amer is greeted with the American flag.
13/26
Sarah Pixley
14/26
Sarah Pixley
Ivon Hernandez waves the American flag after he is declared an American citizen.
15/26
Sarah Pixley
Previous speakers at the naturalization ceremony include Presidents Gerald Ford and George W. Bush, comedian Tracey Ullman, actor Sam Waterson and Olympian Nadia Comaneci.
16/26
Sarah Pixley
Citizens were sworn in by Judge William F. Stone Jr.
17/26
Sarah Pixley
The crowd cheers.
18/26
Sarah Pixley
The iconic West Lawn of Monticello provides a glorious setting for a ceremony steeped in patriotic elements.
19/26
Sarah Pixley
The ceremony is presided over by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia.
20/26
Sarah Pixley
21/26
Sarah Pixley
22/26
Sarah Pixley
Citizens say the Pledge of Allegiance.
23/26
Sarah Pixley
Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, died at Monticello on the country's 50th birthday, July 4, 1826.
24/26
Sarah Pixley
The fan was definitely needed during the day.
25/26
Sarah Pixley
Suneetha Gupta, a new citizen, gives thanks during her speech.
26/26
Sarah Pixley
Opera singer Monica Yunus sings "America the Beautiful." Monica is the daughter of Mohammad Yunus, a Nobel piece prize recipient.
Contact Us