President Barack Obama plans to mark the Fourth of July holiday with a barbecue for several hundred service members and their families, along with fireworks on the Mall.
But he’ll kick off the day with a naturalization ceremony at the White House for several service members who Obama said “signed up to serve, to sacrifice, potentially to give their lives for the security of this country even though they weren’t yet Americans.”
The ceremony falls just days after Obama said he’ll look to revise immigration laws on his own and he closed his remarks by noting the service members who will mark Independence Day as their first day as American citizens.
“That's how much they love this country,” Obama said Monday from the Rose Garden. “They were prepared to fight and die for an America they did not yet fully belong to. I think they’ve earned their stripes in more ways than one.”
Obama hosted a similar naturalization event on Fourth of July in 2012, calling it “a perfect way to celebrate America’s birthday.”
By Lesley Clark
McClatchy Washington Bureau