Tuesday September 4, 2012

Berkshire County residents who immigrated to the United States from around the world will be sworn-in as new naturalized U.S. citizens during a special ceremony to be held at Norman Rockwell Museum on Saturday, Sept. 8, starting at 10 a.m.

The naturalization ceremony will take place in the Museum’s main gallery against the backdrop of Norman Rockwell’s iconic "Four Freedoms" paintings.

The oath of allegiance will be led by Southern Berkshire District Court Judge Frederic Rutberg, a resident of Stockbridge, who was also sworn in at Norman Rockwell Museum in 1994, in front of "The Four Freedoms."

Other local dignitaries scheduled to attend the ceremony include State Sen. Benjamin B. Downing, and State Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli, who was also a child model for Norman Rockwell back in the 1960s.

Jean Atwater-Williams, a classically trained soprano and president of the Sandisfield Arts Center, will sing "The Star Spangled Banner" and other patriotic selections during the ceremony, in addition to a flag presentation from the Dalton Color Guard.

Over 20 residents representing 15 different countries will be sworn in during the Sept. 8 ceremony. Many of those residents were aided in their pursuit of citizenship by the Berkshire Immigration Center, a resource and advocacy organization that serves the local immigration population.

For more information about BIC, call (413) 445-4881 or email info@berkshireic.com.