Yesterday, I shared about the speech President Obama was planning to give at a naturalization ceremony going on at The National Archives.

He gave an exceptional speech. You can read the transcript here and watch and listen to it via the embedded video below.

Here’s a short excerpt:


I really liked his comments about the naturalization being only the first step:

And that’s why today is not the final step in your journey. More than 60 years ago, at a ceremony like this one, Senator John F. Kennedy said, “No form of government requires more of its citizens than does the American democracy.” Our system of self-government depends on ordinary citizens doing the hard, frustrating but always essential work of citizenship — of being informed. Of understanding that the government isn’t some distant thing, but is you. Of speaking out when something is not right. Of helping fellow citizens when they need a hand. Of coming together to shape our country’s course.

And that work gives purpose to every generation. It belongs to me. It belongs to the judge. It belongs to you. It belongs to you, all of us, as citizens. To follow our laws, yes, but also to engage with your communities and to speak up for what you believe in. And to vote — to not only exercise the rights that are now yours, but to stand up for the rights of others.

For more info on connecting naturalization to “active citizenship,” you might want to read Yes, Schools Should Develop Active Citizens &, No, We Don’t Need Another Test To Do It.

You can read more about the President’s speech at this NY Times article, Obama Counters Anti-Muslim Talk by Welcoming New Citizens.