White House (CNN) - In a Fourth of July ceremony at the White House, brimming with political undertones, President Obama hosted a naturalization ceremony for more than two dozen active duty service members.
"[T]his is one of my favorite things to do. It brings me great joy and inspiration because it reminds us that we are a country that is bound together not simply by ethnicity or bloodlines, but by fidelity to a set of ideas," Mr. Obama told the audience of new Americans and their families.
The White House has hosted similar naturalization ceremonies in previous years but never on Independence Day. And while the newly minted citizens came from countries around the world including Russia, the Philippines and Cameroon, about half were Latinos, a key voting block in the upcoming election.
CNN White House correspondent Dan Lothian reports the Obamas will not be vacationing again in Martha's Vineyard this year. He examines the "optics" of presidential vacations especially in an election year.
10:15AM THE PRESIDENT arrives at Ft. McNair/ In-Town Travel Pool Coverage
10:25AM THE PRESIDENT arrives the White House / In-Town Travel Pool Coverage
10:50AM THE PRESIDENT deliver remarks at a naturalization ceremony for active duty service members/ EastRoom /Open Press
6:00PM THE PRESIDENT and THE FIRST LADY attend a Fourth of July celebration; THE PRESIDENT delivers remarks /South Lawn/ Pooled Press
WHITE HOUSE (CNN)-More than two dozen active duty service members will celebrate their Fourth of July with a very patriotic event.
Twenty-five members of the U.S. Army, Marine Corps, and Air Force will be sworn in as citizens in the East Room of the White House. President Obama will make remarks and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano will deliver the oath of allegiance.
The group of candidates for citizenship are from seventeen different countries and include a marine who has been awarded the Purple Heart and several winners of the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.
Other members of the president's cabinet and senior White House officials will also participate in similar ceremonies around the nation. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis will participate in a ceremony in New York and SBA Administrator Karen Mills will be in Massachusetts.
This is the third naturalization ceremony at the White House during the Obama administration, although none have been on Independence Day. Vice President Biden participated in a ceremony at Camp Victory with members of the military during a trip to Baghdad on July 4, 2009.