Each year around Independence Day, Carnegie Corporation of New York, in partnership with The New York Times, salutes our founder Andrew Carnegie’s legacy, by celebrating an ideal he held so dearly: citizenship.
On this particular day, The Carnegie Corporation honors women and men whose love for this country, like that of Mr. Carnegie himself, led them to pursue a pathway to citizenship. It is a pathway that may be both lengthy and complex, but for many immigrants, the process is a road they are determined to follow.
Like their fellow citizens, those men and women who have become Americans by Choice, have made, and continue to make, our nation strong and vibrant. The Carnegie Corporation is committed to helping immigrants become integrated into the civic fabric of our nation because enlightened citizenship is the everlasting strength of our democracy. Carnegie Corporation’s president, Vartan Gregorian, an immigrant, reminds us of that our country is an extraordinary and daring idea that is still being tested and must be nurtured: “Here, in America, we are trying to form a nation that transcends its limits and where the people transcend their differences in order to share a common purpose and common ideals. And here, in America, we must all understand that participating in our civic life, the rich and vibrant life of our nation, is not just a right but also an obligation. And perhaps most important of all, it means being a citizen.”