Saturday, August 2, 2014

July 4th Seattle Style

We started our 4th off by attending the  Naturalization Ceremony of those who were completing the Naturalization and Citizenship process to become US Citizens.

There were over 500 persons from 70 different countries.

And the Band Played

The Star Bangled Banner

A welcome Story by Native Americans

The Oath of Allegiance Nope you did not have to say this if you were born here.

There is a big perk for volunteering at the Center for Wooden Boats on July 4th.

You get to see a lot of really cool boats even some who just cruise through, no...that's a Amphicar!

Lake Union fills up early to get the best Seat for the fireworks. It's going to be a early riser though, they have to depart by 0700 the next morning.

Go Fast Wood

The Admiral zoomed in to the North end of the Lake and Gas Works Park is wall to wall humanity.

Watch out for that Cannon!

A little Seafaring Music after 6 hours volunteering on the docks felt great.

The little tug Skillfull pushing a piece of party dock

Every vessel 

We saw two of these drons, guess they had a gopro, sure would like to see their video!
Almost time for the fireworks show

The Marines made sure all knew why we were here.

And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.

July 4th Seattle Style

Just trying to remember all the memorable 4th of July's we have enjoyed over the years. Living in Austin, TX with young children we always made the early trek down to Auditorium Shores with Ice chest loaded with picnic and plenty of beer, lawn chairs and a big blanket so spread out on the ground often sharing the space with my sisters family or others. The Austin Symphony would play and end with the 1812 Overture starting off the fireworks. Later as the kids got older we sought out a place where we could see the fireworks but avoid the long wait in traffic home. so we found some parking garage roofs on the North side of Town Lake where we could make a quick getaway after it was all over. Of late we enjoyed the fireworks off the Lexington in Corpus Christi viewed from our or someone else's boat and fireworks in Tampa Florida from our marina. 
This one in Seattle will be remembered for sure. I woke up thinking it would be just another 4th of July but this one started out by attending the Naturalization Ceremony at the Seattle Center where there were over 500 people from over 70 countries coming together to take the final step to US Citizenship. The path to citizenship is a long one that can take 2-3 or more years after meeting the 5 year requirement to hold a green card. .
Being present at this ceremony is like being an active participant as a witness to their oath and as a welcoming American to those who have given up their own country to become a citizen of ours. They must take the following Oath: 
"I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God."
I never had to say an oath like this, or renounce anything,  I just had to be born in Abilene, TX. I have recited The Pledge of Allegiance no less than 9,113 times not including special ceremonies. That includes grades K-12 in public school and 30 years of teaching public school. Most of you were only required to recite it 2,405 times + special events. If you were in the Armed Services you had to Swear an Oath to defend our country. I did have to take the Merchant Mariner Oath at the Coast Guard Office in Houston when I got my Captain's License "I do solemnly swear or affirm that I will faithfully and honestly, according to my best skill and judgment, and without concealment and reservation, perform all the duties required of me by the laws of the United States. I will faithfully and honestly carry out the lawful orders of  my superior officers aboard a vessel." , and I had to surrender my vessel the the US armed forces in time of war if needed. I'm guessing there was some type of oath to defend our country when I Joined the ARMY ROTC at The University of Texas in Arlington, TX, but I really can't remember 1970 is to far away.
It was a Patriotic and inspiring event to witness. A great way to start out your 4th of July Day for sure. 
Then it was off to the Center for Wooden Boats to volunteer for a few hours at the Lake Union Wooden Boat Festival. I wanted to do this since we were in Seattle several years ago and just happened to walk down to Lake union on the July 4th weekend right into the Wooden Boat Festival. My job for the day included gathering up the the hearty souls who had previously signed up for the Free Sails on one of the many vessels operated by the volunteer Skippers and get life jackets on everyone and into the waiting vessel. I repeated this about every 20 minutes for 5 hours. The perk is that you get a free T shirt and attend the Free BBQ afterwards. Family gets in free as well. So The Admiral met me just in time to get in line for the BBQ and enjoy a fine sunset over Lake union with thousands of boats moored up for the fireworks show. After the BBQ and Beer we enjoyed the Seafaring tunes of the PNW with an awesome folk band, as the last rays of the sun disappeared we found our self on the end of the dock in good position for the fireworks. 
4th of July Seattle Style!

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