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JandC

by John Chae

“Good one W., I couldn’t have said it better,” I mutter to myself as I admire the recycled  White House letter paper and try to decipher the President’s signature.  Z w Bee, is what the scribble most closely resembles.  The Naturalization Ceremony Hall, in which I am reading this letter, is in the Fallon Federal Building in downtown Baltimore.  Contrary to its grand name, the hall looks like it was modeled after the local YMCA recreation room.  Four to five rows of fold-up chairs take up the bulk of the carpeted area.  The chairs are directed towards a wooden podium set in front of an American flag and to the left of this is a beige plastic fold-out table behind which stand three cheerful women who are congratulating the new citizens for their decision in joining team America.  The walls are loosely decorated with oddly placed, and rather distasteful, red, white, and blue ribbons.  Of which there aren’t nearly enough of and whose arrangement puts this attempt to shame when compared to even your most average Veteran’s day party.  Like most things in Baltimore, the ceremony hall seems to be underfunded.

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