Wednesday, February 28, 2024

February 28, 2024~ Naturalization Day



What an honor and privilege to attend and participate in the NATURALIZATION CEREMONY for 50 NEW CITIZENS. The event took place at the United States District Court Western District of Virginia. Opening ceremony, by the Air Force Junior ROTC from Patrick Henry High School, under the direction of  Lt Colonel Steven Boyd, began promptly at 11:00AM...

Special Music was performed by Salem Choral Society.
Presentation of Applicants was read by Assistant U.S. Attorney, Andrew Bassford.
With right hands raised, Elizabeth Cox, Jury Specialist, administered the "Oath of Allegiance" to the new 50 United States Citizens.

The Honorable Thomas T. Cullen, Presiding United States District Judge, presented certificates to the new citizens. 
The path to citizenship had been completed by 50 new American citizens.......a powerful journey for all! 
Flags, cards, congratulations, hugs, hand shakes, tears of joy, were shared with the new citizens. Judy Thierry Past Regent for the General James Breckinridge Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution, led the Pledge of Allegiance.

The remarks by New Citizens were heart-felt, bold, and sincere(and not a dry eye in the courtroom). I'll never forget some of their remarks. 

Immediately following the ceremony, the General James Breckinridge Chapter NSDAR provided a reception.

***If you have never attended a Naturalization Ceremony, find out when the next one takes place. You can be a part of the 'courtroom gallery'. It is an experience that you will not forget.
A link below, includes 100 CIVICS questions as part of the Naturalization process. Judge Thomas Cullen remarked:  "I'd be willing to bet that these new citizens know more than 95% of the citizens who were born here in the US!" CIVICS QUESTIONS "Their passion, enthusiasm, will, and vision to dream heroic dreams and accomplish unknown things took courage!"
Here is yet another link for the reading vocabulary test used for the US Citizenship interview. READING VOCABULARY
I am proud to be an American! 

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

February 20, 2024 Old Town Alexandria, VA


Cheers! Keep moving, keep learning new things, and keep on seeing new places. LIFE IS SHORT!

A little intro: The day that I turned 75(July 28th), I decided that I would try my hand at doing/seeing/learning 75 new things.....during my 75th year! This resolution was sort of an incentive to keep me moving and active, both physically and mentally. Thus far, I think I'm on track to meet my goal: As of today, I have recorded 53 items! Much appreciation fondly❣️goes to Ron, for being a part of my endeavor. Actually, I think that he has enjoyed most of these new things as well. 

 Tuesday, February 20, 2024, Ron and I experienced 13 NEW places....most of these were in Old Town Alexandria, VA (GEORGE WASHINGTON'S HOMETOWN!). Oh, what a noteworthy area to visit! This city predates the American Revolution and is steeped in history.   Driving from Haymarket via I 66, and I 495 was surprisingly tolerable😁. Ron is an expert driver. Me? I need to improve my direction skills by speaking RIGHT, LEFT, or STRAIGHT, rather than pointing🤣🤣🤣!The weather was perfect for walking!
We found easy and multiple places to parallel park on Queen Street...for FREE. King Street was a walkable mile of centuries-old architecture and in the heart of Old Town's 200+restaurants and boutiques. 

We barely made a dent in everything that Old Town has to offer, but we gave it our best! And of course, I snapped waaaaaaay too many pics. The maps app on my iPhone was great. Taking photos of street names also helped Hansel and Gretel to remember where we parked the car😆!
After grabbing a cup of coffee at our first stop, The Foxtrot Market Cafe on King Street, we were ready for the unknown! Our first stop was the Spite House, the famous 7 foot wide house, on Queen Street! The 1830 house was built, in the adjacent alley, out of spite😕 to keep loiterers out of disgruntled owner John Hollensbury's alley!

The Old Historic Presbyterian Meeting House on Fairfax Street, with entrances to the back gardens on each side of the building, has a long and storied history of over two centuries of faith and community.  
The churchyard burial ground behind the house included a TOMB OF THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION, in addition to 300 graves, including John Carlyle, founding trustee of Alexandria.

Below is a photo (Not mine)found on google, but worthy of reposting! 👇

Christ Church opened its doors in 1773, George Washington helped fund the construction of this Episcopal church. Placed near the street is a Confederate Soldiers plaque as well as various historical graves.

Captain's Row(Houses along the 100 and 200 block of Princess Street: (glad we had on tennis shoes!)
Wilkes Street Tunnel:

Wales Alley:  "The core of historic Old Town started with 10 streets spanning 60 acres. Connecting all these streets is a series of alleys with a history of their own. When the original street map was created, the cobblestone alleys were included as pedestrian thoroughfares, loading zones and social gathering places for workers. Some of the more noted alleys include Printers Alley, Wales Alley, Ramsay Alley, and Sharps Alley."

Near the Wales intersection sign was another interesting place. Loved the design! 
We dined on the Waterfront at Vola's Dockside Grill.... the blackened rock fish and crab sandwiches were out of this world! 

A busy seaport for centuries, Alexandria's waterfront has been named one of the best river walks in the USA.The Torpedo Factory Art Center is one of many businesses facing the picturesque views of the Potomac River. 

We went inside of Basilica of St Mary on Royal Street, the first Catholic Church Parish in Va. 

The George Washington Masonic National Memorial on Callahan Drive was lovely! The surrounding grounds are beautiful. Ron's dad was a Mason, as well as several of my uncles. 

A list of new things is included here👇.......(Yes, I'm keeping a record of the #NewToMeAt75, thus the numbers 40-53).
The last item (53) is the Apple House, located in Linden Va..... delicious lunch and oh those apple cinnamon doughnuts! 😁
Cheers! Keep moving, keep learning new things, and keep on seeing new places!
                                                 LIFE IS SHORT!💗