The Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services conduct Naturalization Ceremonies at the United States District Court in Las Vegas the first two Fridays of each month. Similar ceremonies are held at various times throughout the Unites States.
Elks Lodges across the country participate in these ceremonies as part of their Americanism service. They present an American flag to each of the new citizens and describe the history and symbolism of our flag. The Mesquite Lodge #2811 participates in these ceremonies four times a year. On February 13, 2015 Mesquite Elks Lodge members, lead by Larry Knievel, Chair of the Americanism Committee, attended four ceremonies where a total of 266 new American citizens from over 30 countries around the world took the Oath of Citizenship.
One of these new American citizens was Mesquite resident Alfredo Zuniga, originally from Costa Rica. Accompanied by one of his daughters, who was born in the U.S., the excitement of the day was clearly evident on both of their faces. Smiling and hugging each other, he described the day as one of the most important events of his life. That was the same sentiment expressed by all of those who took the Oath of Citizenship as they shared their elation in becoming citizens of the United States of America with family and friends who were in attendance.
Larry Knievel has been attending these Naturalization ceremonies since 2005. He says it is one of the most rewarding experiences he has ever been involved with. In the 10 years he has served as Chairman of the Mesquite Elks Americanism Committee, he has witnessed over 14,000 individuals sworn-in as new American citizens and distributed an equal number of American flags.
The members of the Mesquite Elks Lodge congratulate all of these new American citizens. This is just one of the many community service activities that the Mesquite Elks are involved with. If you have questions about the Elks or are interested in joining, contact the Mesquite Elks Lodge at (702) 345-2811.