Hundreds become US citizens in naturalization ceremony

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) – Hundreds of immigrants from 63 countries around the world were sworn in as U.S. citizens Monday morning.

The 295 participants packed the auditorium of the Coronado, proudly waving American flags as the naturalization ceremony commenced. By the end, friends and family watched as they were finally welcomed as legal U.S. citizens. All new citizens joined local leaders in singing the National Anthem and reciting both the Oath of Allegiance and the Pledge.

Honorable Judge Thomas Lynch says he had the privilege of taking part in dozens of naturalization ceremonies since appointed to the bench more than ten years ago.

“It is a tremendously moving moment, I think for everybody,” Lynch says. “Everybody certainly in this community. We’re welcoming in people who have gone through so much labor to become citizens in the United States.”

Congratulatory remarks were made by 68th district representative, Dave Vella. This was Vella’s first time speaking at a naturalization ceremony, and his second time in attendance. He says the most important thing a person can do as a citizen is vote.

“We’re all immigrants, we all have worked hard to become citizens and do our duty,” Vella says. “It’s just great to see the symbolism of all these people getting up and taking the oath together. It’s neat to see that, it reminds us of why it’s important to be proud to be where we’re from.”

If you or someone you know are interested in attending or participating in a naturalization ceremony, visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website here.

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