The NCSML continues to host ceremonies annually, a tradition started in 2016
“Shanel Wermerskirchen, NCSML Event Services Manager”]“We started hosting the ceremonies in our space as a way to welcome every new American citizen the same way that Czechs and Slovaks were embraced by the Cedar Rapids community decades earlier.”
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (February 6, 2017) –The National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library (NCSML) will host its annual naturalization ceremony on Friday, February 10 at 1:30pm in WFLA/ZCBJ Heritage Hall. The NCSML will welcome 75 new American citizens and their families to the museum. President and CEO, Gail Naughton, will provide opening remarks. Museum visitors are welcome to attend the ceremony, with limited seating available.
The National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library itself has a rich immigrant history. The NCSML was founded in 1974 by second and third-generation descendants of Czech and Slovak immigrants who understood the importanceof immigrant contributions to our country. NCSML Event Services Manager, Shanel Wermerskirchen, first reached out to the United States District Court in late 2015, proposing that the museum become a host site for naturalization ceremonies at the start of 2016. Of the now annual tradition, Wermerskirchen says, “We started hosting the ceremonies in our space as a way to welcome every new American citizen the same way that Czechs and Slovaks were embraced by the Cedar Rapids community decades earlier.” The NCSML hosted two naturalization ceremonies in 2016, in January and in August.
The NCSML aims to celebrate life, culture and freedom for all global citizens, including those with Czech and Slovak backgrounds. “We’re thrilled to see new citizens and their families explore the Faces of Freedom exhibit depicting real Czech and Slovak immigration journeys. There’s a genuine sense of connection to their stories,” Wermerskirchen says. The NCSML congratulates and welcomes the newest group of American citizens, as well as their families, to the greater Cedar Rapids community and to the United States.
For more information about Faces of Freedom: The Czech and Slovak Journey, visit https://www.ncsml.org/exhibits/faces-of-freedom/ For a complete listing of area naturalization ceremonies, visit the United States District Court page at http://www.iand.uscourts.gov/e-web/home.nsf/0/c097b83c1f62ebc7862573be0051d6e4?OpenDocument