More than 100 immigrants gather at bi-weekly naturalization ceremonies to celebrate their new status as United States citizens. Held at the Everett McKinley Dirksen Building in downtown Chicago, the ceremonies mark the end of a long quest for citizenship among people from across the world. The new citizens recite the “Oath of Allegiance” and then a filled courtroom of friends and relatives joins them in reciting the “Pledge of Allegiance.” [Click here to read Obtaining certificate a dream come true for immigrants now living in Lake County, a story written by Meital Caplan and published in the Aug. 18, 2010 edition of the Lake County Journal. It documents the day she too became a U.S. citizen ]
With thanks to the Chief Judge’s office for the Northern District of Illinois, we have preserved these audio snapshots as a way to welcome immigrants and visitors to one of Chicago’s more unheralded treasures: A shared summer in the city.

Enjoy the slideshow that captures some of the sights and sounds of the ceremonial moment and then click on the photos below to hear “snapshots” of attendees with rich stories about their immigrant backgrounds and experiences. We hope you enjoy exploring the Summer Snapshots as much as we did. Please share your stories with us as well.

Audio Snapshots