Naturalization ceremony welcomes new Americans - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Naturalization ceremony welcomes new Americans

Posted: Updated:

It was not only a celebration to swear in America's newest citizens, it was a chance to honor our Veterans. Every year, as many as 800 men and women are naturalized as U.S. citizens on Guam soil.

It was a parade of nations - Canada, El Salvador, the Federated States of Micronesia, Mexico, Palau, the People's Republic of China, Peru, the Republic of the Philippines, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the Vietnam - all pledging their allegiance to the United States of America.

"I hereby declare on oath," the group proudly began, announcing the words in unison.

41 smiling, flag waving, anthem-singing immigrants in pursuit of the American dream made it official on Thursday during a special Veterans Day naturalization ceremony at the District Court of Guam. Among them, two U.S. Army Reservists - Staff Sergeant Bernice Tesei Loftis of Palau has served for 18 years.

She joined with dreams of traveling and seeing the world, but most especially serving the United States of America. She told KUAM News, "It makes me proud that I'm actually a US citizen and not dual. It's good. It makes me proud that I'm actually a US citizen."

Specialist Junior Engichy of Chuuk says he's honored to be naturalized at the eve of Veterans Day. "You have to honor those who serve before you," he said.

Keynote Speaker Senator Frank Aguon, Jr. had a special message for the two new citizens, saying, "You have shown incredible patriotism and a willingness to risk your lives defending a nation that was not yet your own, but it made each of you one of us. It made you just as American long before it was official. It is that service and sacrifice that has helped define our country for more than 200 years."

Immediately following the ceremony, the newly naturalized citizens were able to apply for their U.S. Passport as well as register to vote.

  • NEWS HEADLINESMore>>

  • Feral pigs will be removed from Naval Base Guam property

    Feral pigs will be removed from Naval Base Guam property

    Getting a handle on the feral pig population, Naval Base Guam confirming the start of a cooperative agreement with non-profit conservation organization, White Buffalo Inc. This project, which runs from now through May of next year, will work to remove all non-native feral pigs from the base property in Santa Rita. Officials say high population densities of feral pigs have devastating effects on the environment, impacting native species and causing large scale erosion. USDA regulatio...More >>
    Getting a handle on the feral pig population, Naval Base Guam confirming the start of a cooperative agreement with non-profit conservation organization, White Buffalo Inc. This project, which runs from now through May of next year, will work to remove all non-native feral pigs from the base property in Santa Rita. Officials say high population densities of feral pigs have devastating effects on the environment, impacting native species and causing large scale erosion. USDA regulatio...More >>
  • Bank of Guam merges Santa Cruz branch with Hagatna HQ

    Bank of Guam merges Santa Cruz branch with Hagatna HQ

    On Tuesday, Bank of Guam celebrated the merging of the Santa Cruz branch with their headquarters in Hagatna. After more than 40 years, a time capsule that was buried at the Bank in 1975 was unveiled and is now on display. The last day of the Santa Cruz Branch operations is Monday December 11, 2017.More >>
    On Tuesday, Bank of Guam celebrated the merging of the Santa Cruz branch with their headquarters in Hagatna. After more than 40 years, a time capsule that was buried at the Bank in 1975 was unveiled and is now on display. The last day of the Santa Cruz Branch operations is Monday December 11, 2017.More >>
  • DOE schools closed for Black Friday

    DOE schools closed for Black Friday

    Just as a reminder - Friday the 24th  has been declared a Government of Guam holiday by Governor Eddie Calvo. There will be no classes held for any of the island's public schools. Classes will resume on Monday.More >>
    Just as a reminder - Friday the 24th  has been declared a Government of Guam holiday by Governor Eddie Calvo. There will be no classes held for any of the island's public schools. Classes will resume on Monday.More >>
Powered by Frankly