BOSTON (NNS) -- Logistics Specialist Seaman Jason Petitfrere, a Sailor assigned to USS Constitution, was naturalized aboard ‘Old Ironsides’ during a ceremony held Sept. 20.
With over 200 people in attendance, U.S. District Court, Massachusetts, the Honorable Judge Rya Zobel administered the Oath of Allegiance to 24 pending citizens, representing 21 nationalities, all became U.S. Citizens aboard America’s Ship of State.
Petitfrere, a member of Constitution’s crew since Feb. 2018, described the event as feeling unreal and that it filled him with a renewed sense of patriotism.
“If I could bring this feeling down to only two words, the first one would be surreal,” Petitfrere said. “This whole event and the organization that went into making this happen has been unreal. The second word would be America because I feel that surging sense of honor and duty towards being a Sailor in the U.S. Navy as an American now. That gives me even more of a sense of indebtedness and of dedication towards this cause for which I voluntarily fight.”
USS Constitution’s 75th Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Nathaniel R. Shick, stated about the first naturalization ceremony held aboard this year, that he was proud of his Sailor and the other individuals who strived to become citizens.
“It was a privilege to host one of the most iconic traditions our government facilitates on behalf of passionate citizen candidates,” Shick said. “Witnessing the genuine emotions and overwhelming happiness of our new citizens is something I will always remember. I am extremely proud of Petitfrere and honored to share this moment with him and his family.”
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services naturalizes approximately 680,000 new American citizens every year.
Constitution, America’s Ship of State, actively defended sea lanes against global threats from 1797-1855. The World’s Oldest Commissioned Warship Afloat, Constitution embodies 220 years of maritime heritage and unwavering service to her country. Now a featured destination on Boston’s Freedom Trail, Constitution and her crew of active duty U.S. Navy Sailors offer community outreach and education about the ship's history and the importance of naval sea power to more than 500,000 visitors each year. Constitution is berthed at Pier One in Charlestown Navy Yard.
For more news from USS Constitution, visit www.navy.mil/local/constitution/.