Story by Ashley Alfonso
MYSTIC - It was a fitting ceremony on Flag Day.
75 people pledged allegiance to the flag and took the Oath of Allegiance, becoming U.S. citizens.
They came from 38 different countries all over the world, stretching from Brazil to Burma and Japan to Portugal. For some, they have waited their whole lives for this moment. For others, they will now grow up in the land of the free.
For David Sebabi originally from the Congo, it’s a process he started nearly a decade ago.“So many emotions at the same time, it’s been a 10 year process and finally I’m a citizen. I’m think I’m still processing, it’s a lot going on right now. I feel like crying I feel like jumping. It’s amazing, it’s been a rough journey but finally I’m a citizen, and I’m really happy,” said Sebabi.
Many of the new citizens overcome with emotion as they begin their new lives in the states. “I have so many different emotions, I’m so happy, I’m nervous . I’ve been waiting for this day since long ago and now it’s finally here, I’m just speechless,” said Silvia Cooke-Salinas originally from Peru.
This has become a flag day tradition for Mystic Seaport Museum. It’s the 8th Flag Day in a row that they have held a naturalization ceremony.
“It’s really quite moving, all of us or at least most of us are either immigrants ourselves or grandchildren of or descendants of. So it’s fantastic to see that next chapter in citizenship,” said Steve White, President, Mystic Seaport Museum.
Last year Connecticut alone, welcomed roughly 10,000 new citizens in naturalization ceremonies.