Seattle PI: Nineteen become U.S. citizens: 'The heart of our country — immigrants!'

Nineteen newly sworn-in U.S. citizens, from 14 countries, were feted in welcoming speeches, essays and poetry on Tuesday at a Flag Day citizenship ceremony and celebration at Seattle City Hall.

The most eloquent words came from three fifth graders, finalists in a statewide essay contest with the theme: “Why I’m Glad America is a Nation of Immigrants.” All displayed a greater understanding of their country’s values than one presidential candidate headed for the November ballot.

“Say hey, can you see them, crossing the border, bringing with them food, art, pottery, and even some religious things,” began a poem by Kody Mikelsen, from Clyde Hill. The student’s verse gave examples of how Americans see, feel, taste and hear what the arrivals bring to the country.

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