Becoming a naturalized United States citizen is no easy feat. Applicants must have had a permanent resident card for at least five years, be able to read, write, and speak basic English, complete thorough interviews, be of good moral character, and meet a multitude of other requirements. However, those who choose to venture along this path are rewarded with a gift: the freedom of being a US citizen.

On the 4th of July, three residents from Independence, Oregon publicly declared their allegiance to the United States at a reenactment of their naturalization ceremony. The families of the citizens finally got to watch the ceremony and listen to Mayor John McArdle and Representative Paul Evans give speeches about the beauties and duties of being an American citizen. An excerpt from their oath grants further weight to the significance of the ceremony: “I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen…I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.”

For those who have never needed to recite these words, it is enlightening to see what is required of the individuals whose pursuit of a better life reminds us why the American dream remains alive in our great nation.

Congratulations to our newest US citizens!

People at Naturalization Ceremony