CaribWorldNews, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. July 6, 2009: A 29-year-old Guyanese-born officer in the U.S. Navy joined several other fellow service members over the weekend to take the oath of citizenship.
Sherwin Shane Shepherd, from Ozone Park, Queens, was among seven members of the U.S. armed forces who were sworn in as American citizens during a special naturalization ceremony on Liberty Island.
Shepherd joined the U.S. Navy in 2001 and is now a Petty Officer First Class in the Manhattan recruiting office. He migrated to the United States at age 13 from Guyana and went on to attend the August Martin High School in Jamaica, Queens.
Shepherd signed up in 2001 with the Navy and has served in Thailand, Australia and Singapore.
`It`s a really good feeling to finally become a U.S. citizen – it`s an honor,` said Shepherd, who added that he plans to stay in the Navy, and hopes to becomes a drill instructor at the Great Lakes Naval Base, north of Chicago.
The Statue of Liberty ceremony also was marked by the re-opening of the crown Saturday to the public for the first time since the Sept. 11 attacks.
The oath of allegiance was administered to the seven by U.S. Department of Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Jane Holl Lute. Then, all seven are expected to climb up the Statue`s crown escorted by a U.S. parks ranger.
`We chose seven people because there are seven points in the crown of the Statue of Liberty – and who better to choose than those who are serving our country in the military,` said David Santos, spokesman for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.