GROTON, Conn. (WTNH) — What may make the naturalization ceremony held at the U.S. Submarine Base so special is not only that the candidates become the newest citizens of the United States but many of them decided to serve this country before it became theirs.
A special session of U.S. District Court of Connecticut was convened at the Submarine Force Library and Museum for the citizenship ceremony. Judge Warren Eginton presiding.
He administered the Oath of Allegiance to the sixteen military members and their families. “You are citizens,” he said as they finished prompting a big round of applause.
Rudra Mootoor a sailor at the SUBASE in Groton is originally from Trinidad and Tobago. He lead the Pledge of Allegiance for the first time as a U.S. citizen.
“As a citizen I can actually feel the words and rather than reciting a poem like I used to do before. Now I can actually feel what it means,” said Mootoor.
Ilona Dubay signed up to serve after her husband enlisted.
“I didn’t want to be the one just staying home and waiting for him,” said Dubay. “I wanted to feel how it is to serve and go through all that he goes through.”
“I’m very proud of her,” said her husband Paul Dubay. “I didn’t think she would join and surprised me and wanted to join after me. I’m very proud of her.”
“I always wanted to be in the Marine Corps. It was special,” said Georges Bourgoin who came to the U.S. as a kid from New Brunswick, Canada.
Both he and his wife Colombe became citizens together and now share a new sense of pride.
“It’s a good feeling. It’s a great.” said Georges Bouroin who paused when he became emotional. “Very happy,” Colombe Bourgoin continued his thoughts.
It may be fitting to have the ceremony at the museum because the USS Nautilus the first nuclear powered submarine for the Navy was designed by Admiral Hyman Rickover an immigrant himself.