Excitement filled the Capitol Rotunda as 123 applicants from more than 20 countries in unison pledged their loyalty to the United States of America during the Oath of Allegiance to become U.S. citizens during the naturalization ceremony on September 25, 2017.

Representative Norm Thurston, in partnership with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), has organized eight U.S. naturalization ceremonies since the November 2015 in the Capitol.

“It is our responsibility to give more than we take,” said Rep. Thurston. “I encourage all of us to make sure we are giving back to our communities, to society and civically.”

Eldin Diglisic, the CEO of ShipEX Inc., shared his experience of immigrating to the U.S. in 1997 from Sarajevo, Bosnia. In 2007, he founded the successful temperature controlled transportation for the healthcare industry, headquartered in Salt Lake City.

“In this country, you can literally achieve anything you want to do,” said Diglisic during the ceremony. “This is the country that protects its citizens so wave that passport proudly.”

Four new citizens spoke at the ceremony.

“I very happy to finally be a citizen, I feel very blessed,” said Mayra Alejaudra emotionally.

I very thankful to be in a country where I can “practice my religion and pursue my dreams,” said Aniko Pot.

“It is an honor to be here, and I really appreciate the opportunity the United States America has given me,”  said Mutabaruka Medard.

“I am so glad I am here,” said Asma Bahadur.

Laura McNeer, field office director for USCIS, administered the Oath of Allegiance. Carla Swensen-Haslam performed the U.S. National Anthem.The new citizens also heard a welcome message from President Donald J. Trump.

Following the ceremony, on-site voter registration was available to encourage the new citizens to be actively engaged in local, state and national matters as well as voice their opinion in future elections.

See more pictures here.