GROTON, Conn. (WTNH) 19 members of the military and their families become United States Citizens during a special naturalizaton ceremony set up next to the USS Nautilus in Groton.
As the gavel bangs down on the podium, an officer of the court announces, “Here ye here ye. The United States District Court for the district of Connecticut is now open.”
With that the Honorable Warren Eginton administers the Oath of Allegiance.
The new citizens hail from 16 countries including Brazil, China, Poland and Panama which is from where marine Cpl Aizar Bula comes. He lead others in the Pledge of Allegiance.
“It’s definitely a great feeling,” says Cpl Bula. “You know before the day approached it didn’t seem like a big deal but today is definitely different.”
Many now excited to start their new lives as US citizens.
“I’m so happy for it,” says Li Jiang. “I’m waiting for a long time. Yeah so exciting.”
Her husband SSgt Zhi Wu was naturalized a few years ago.
“I’m proud of her,” says SSgt Wu. “We are looking forward to contributing to society.”
“It is so important to all of us to see what you’re doing and to understand the example you are providing for all of us,” Congressman Joe Courtney told the crowd.
“I think it’s a dream come true,” says Carmen Chanchavac who serves in the US Marine Corps. “Everyone’s dream come true and it’s an honor to be wearing this uniform. Be part of this.”
Fittingly this ceremony takes place during military appreciation month and with Memorial Day on Monday this is certainly a time to honor those who have served and sacrificed.