Ceremony welcomes 21 new citizens on 4th of July

Ceremony welcomes 21 new citizens on 4th of July (CNYCentral)

Symphoria and the Syracuse Pops Chorus took the stage at St. Joseph’s Health Amphitheater at Lakeview Wednesday night to welcome 21 people coming from 15 different countries participating in the Naturalization Oath Ceremony.

Evgenia Baranova of Russia stood on stage at the St. Joseph’s Health Amphitheater at Lakeview Wednesday night, proud to be a new citizen.

She came to The United States more than a decade ago. She calls the U.S “the land of the free.”

“I have so many opportunities now as a citizen that I didn’t have before,” Baranova said.

21 people from 15 countries took part in a Naturalization Ceremony at the Amphitheater on Wednesday.

Crowds braved scorching temperatures to take it all in, some with flags and cameras in hand showing their American pride. Families showed support for their loved ones.

“I feel so proud of him, and that’s my older brother wow like I’m so proud,” Noor Alowaid said.

Alowaid’s family comes from Iraq. At 13-years-old she’s thankful for all of the opportunities that this country has given her. But her thoughts frequently turn to the division in this country over the issue of immigration. She hopes to advocate for change for immigrants.

“A lot of bad things are happening around countries, and I want to change it,” Noor said.

Across the Amphitheater Wednesday, families hugged each other, held each other tight, proud of their family members, including one little girl Susan Soemeh, her mom is a new citizen.

“She always protects me and always loves me,” Soemeh said.

For some, the naturalization process took several years; for others, it took decades. The new citizens are diverse in age, origin, and background, but they share a common bond and love of their new country.

“I waited so long to become an American citizen I’ve been here since 2004 until now,” Jidaha Griffin said.

Congressman John Katko and Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney were among the crowd Wednesday welcoming these new citizens.

The congressman urged them to always remember the essence of America and the freedoms our country allows.

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