It has been a long journey for dozens of newly naturalized American citizens.
Carlos Daza came to the United States from Bolivia when he was just 3 years old.
“It’s an honor to be at the ceremony today especially among veterans it’s been a long process,” Daza said.
Daza has been a member of the Connecticut National Guard for the past two years.
On Friday he took an oath, got his certificate and pin— becoming a citizen of the United States. It’s a dream he’s had since he was a kid.
“I’ve always wanted to be a citizen first of all, but most importantly serve my country, he said. “The army gave me that opportunity.”
The ceremony was hosted by members of the Elks Club in Middletown.
“I’m a veteran, and you see all the other veterans here. It means a lot to them knowing that they would choose to be part of our military service I want to become citizens,” said William Currlin, chairman of Veterans Committee for the Elks Club. “Every time I think about it, I get a tear in my eye.”
It was not just veterans becoming Americans. There are people from places like Albania, Uganda, and Vietnam. More than 50 people from nearly 30 different countries were sworn in as citizens.
“This is a very special day for me,” I really feel like I am part of the country today.”
Anna Kiernozek, who is originally from Poland, said she’ll cast her first ballot in a few weeks on Election Day.
“I have a responsibility to vote and I would really like to vote,” she said.