On November 26, 117 people from 41 countries, represented by different flags, cultures and systems of government, became U.S. citizens at a naturalization ceremony at the Utah State Capitol. Rep. Norm Thurston hosted the event in partnership with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Speaker Greg Hughes delivered the keynote remarks.
“The individuals who took the oath of allegiance, remind me what it means to be an American,” Speaker Hughes. “This country and people in it are here for the ideals. I encourage you to get civically engaged and share your story. It will remind people how special it is to be a U.S. citizen.”
Though their journeys to this day were unique, in unison these individuals took an oath and in a single moment became Americans.
“I applaud the individuals for completing the work to go through the process to officially become a member of our great nation,” said Rep. Thurston. “I encourage everyone to develop an attitude of sincere, genuine caring for one other. We don’t have to agree about everything to get involved and give back.”
Laura McNeer, field office director for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Salt Lake City, administered the Oath of Allegiance.
The Rotunda echoed as Brittney Larsen sang the national anthem.
Following the ceremony, on-site voter registration was available to encourage new citizens to be actively engaged in local, state and national matters as well as voice their opinion in future elections.
Congratulations to the new citizens of this great country.
Pictures of the event can be found here.