60 New Americans Become Citizens At Old Salem On Independence Day

5:41 PM, Jul 4, 2012   |    comments
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Photo Gallery: Naturalization Ceremony

Winston-Salem, NC -- People from all over the Piedmont are celebrating Independence Day, but freedom has greater meaning for dozens of new Americans.

Sixty people from 38 different countries were naturalized at Old Salem on Wednesday morning.

"This is a dream coming true," Josue Figueredo, a new citizen from Venezuela, said. "[It] was a long process, but now we feel excited [and] happy."

Figueredo and Tatsiana Shymanovich, who is from Belarus, couldn't come from two more different countries. But now, they're both Americans.

"We enjoy living here," Shymanovich said. "That's why we [wanted] to get citizenship and go through the process."

Each of their spouses joined them and the other new citizens in singing the Star-Spangled Banner, taking an oath of citizenship and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

"We are here because we love this country, too," Figueredo said. "When I came here the first time, this country opened its door for us [and] gave us a lot of opportunity. ... It's a very excellent experience. I can't explain with words how I'm feeling now."

On this most American of days, they waved their flags and held tightly to the proof of their new citizenship. Tatsiana and her husband had almost nothing when they moved to the US six years ago. Now, they have everything they want.

"We had two suitcases, two children and just our hands and our heads," she said. "And we worked hard to get through these six years and we are doing absolutely fine here. And we are happy."

WFMY News 2

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