WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The third annual naturalization ceremony, attended by 400 family members, friends and spectators, took place in Salem Square on Thursday.
“Congratulations everyone. You’re citizens of The United States,” were the words 50 people from 28 different countries and their families were waiting to hear.
Luz Angelica Smith put off naturalization for 15 years, but decided becoming a U.S. citizen would lead to a better life for her daughter.
“I’m just so happy,” Smith exclaimed.
By 1 p.m., each received their certificate–and with each, another story of coming to America.
Didimo Bautista is from Colombia South America, and came to the U.S. to teach Spanish. He found the love of his life, a fellow teacher, and now he calls America home.
“Hopefully, on the first day of school, I’ll get to say the Pledge of Allegiance,” Baurtista said.
Fori Fennel’s journey to citizenship was not easy. She went through interviews, spent time studying, and paid all the proper fees all to be called an American citizen and earn the right to cast her vote. The one privilege she was determined to earn.
“You have to learn about the United States. You also have to be able to read and write. It was difficult,” she said.
They all may have been born in a different country, but now they’re all happy to say they can call the United States their home.