(Mike Groll/Office of Governor Kathy Hochul)
Governor Hochul: “Your decision to join all of us makes us stronger. Bringing your language, your culture, your traditions, your religions, that is what makes this state and this country so spectacular. So on behalf of New York, your new home, your new family, we welcome you and we say to you: happy birthday, New Americans.”
Earlier today, Governor Kathy Hochul gave remarks at the Office of General Services’ annual Fourth of July celebration and naturalization ceremony.
A rush transcript of the Governor’s remarks is available below:
Happy 4th of July. Yes indeed, it is. We are all Americans today, and we celebrate the birth of the extraordinary experiment known as America. And as proof today, the people sitting before me came from all walks of life, every corner of this earth, to join in the family of not just Americans, but also the family of New Yorkers.
So this is a huge point of pride for us. And I wanna thank two individuals. First of all, Jeanette Moy, who’s done an extraordinary job. The weight of responsibility for running the entire State facilities is extraordinary. She has done amazing job, Commissioner of General Services, Jeanette Moy. Let’s give her another round of applause. And our presiding judge today, Honorable Kimberly O’Connor, the Acting Justice of the Supreme Court. I want to thank her for her participation here today.
I’ve had a number of levels of government before I became Governor. I’ve done countless immigration naturalization ceremonies, and I’ll tell you why I always want to come. This is a time we renew our faith in our citizenship. We look at these individuals who worked so hard to be here. This was not just an accident of birth. They were born elsewhere, and they had to go through extraordinary challenges to say, “I want to be an American citizen.” So as we celebrate America’s birth on the 4th of July, we’re also celebrating these individuals as their rebirth as American citizens. So let’s give all of them a round of applause.
And the immigrant experience in this country has not always been easy. I’m not even saying it’s easy now. I think back to my grandparents who left tremendous poverty, they had nothing when they came here as teenagers, and they had a whole new life ahead of them, but had a lot of fear and uncertainty until they found jobs. My grandpa made steel and lifted his family up, and as a result, his granddaughter someday could be the Governor of New York. That is the New York dream that we cherish here, the opportunity for every single individual to come from a family from far away, but they have to have that gene to be a risk-taker.
And that’s why America is so unique and special, because it’s a lot easier to stay home in the world you know, even those circumstances may be tough, but to say, “I’m going across the world. I want to become a citizen in a different country. I will go where no one in my family has gone before.” You are the individuals whose shoulders we will stand upon someday when you, like those who came before you, build this community, build this state and build this country to be stronger than ever before. We are looking to you as the leaders. We’re going to help our next generation believe in the American Dream once again.
And it’s been a tough time, my friends. But we are not unique. There are challenges all across this world and there’s always been challenges, way back to 1776. The common denominator is, though, we always rise up. We always prevail. We always will stand together united in the belief that this is the greatest country on earth. That is why we celebrate you. Your decision to join all of us makes us stronger.
Bringing your language, your culture, your traditions, your religions. That is what makes this state and this country so spectacular. So on behalf of New York, your new home, your new family, we welcome you and we say to all of you: Happy birthday, New Americans. Congratulations everyone. Congratulations.