SOUTHPORT, NC (WWAY)--The week leading up to America's birthday saw more than 24,000 immigrants become United States citizens across the globe.
More than 150 candidates took their oath of allegiance Sunday afternoon in Southport.
Excitement was shared by many at the Ft. Johnston Garrison lawn as immigrants from over 50 different countries completed this naturalization process.
Liliane Young is from Lebanon and plans to live in North Carolina. She appreciates the safety our country provides.
"I come from a country that was in a civil war for a long time and here I think that they know the value of freedom and liberty," said Young.
The 15th annual ceremony is a significant part of the North Carolina 4th of July Festival and included one of the largest number of new citizens to participate in the event since its been in Southport.
"We are celebrating as a nation our Declaration of Independence from Britain and in such today's activities are a part of that," said U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services District Director Denise Frazier. "It is a part of independence and these individuals who are here today who are going to become America's newest citizens will be here and be able to take part in some of those unalienable rights that have been granted to them, such as life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," continued Frazier.
Among our new fellow citizens that took the oath in Southport nearly 28 % immigrated from Asia.