With the oath of allegiance, the United States of America welcomed 22 new citizens during a naturalization ceremony at the submarine force museum in Groton.
“Which really embodies the spirit of what it is to be an American,” says Naval Submarine Base Commanding Officer, Captain Todd Moore. “Their belief and trust in the Constitution of the United States, something that I've sworn to protect and defend... to see that is kind of inspiring me."
Last year, Connecticut naturalized 10,000 new US citizens. Today's new citizens were sworn in in honor of Military Appreciation month, and just before Memorial Day.
The 22 candidates represent 16 different countries and many of them already have ties to our military, either through their own service or through their family members' service.
“Just looking forward to continuing to serve my country any way I can,” says Andrew Black, who immigrated to America from Jamaica at 9 years old.
He attended American schools, went to the University of Connecticut, and already served in the United States Navy.
“America is my home. And my allegiance is to this great nation,” he says
Each of the 22 new citizens' own journeys led them to this moment. For Joanne Taylor, it included crossing the Pacific—from the Phillippines to Hawaii—and then crossing the entire country to Connecticut.
“I've been in America for 10 years now and it feels like 'this is it!'” she says. “I'm an American Girl.”
Some of the candidates have been here for years. Still, they say the Rights that come with being an American is rewarding.
“I can see that a big opportunity is coming for me being an American citizen now,” says Taylor.
They now have the opportunity to vote.
“I'm looking forward to doing that in the next election coming up,” says Black.