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citizens300.jpg Submitted by WWAY on Thu, 09/17/2009 - 5:17pm.

Patriotic pride filled the deck of the USS North Carolina as America's newest citizens took their oath. Most of the 74 people are in the US military; the rest are relatives of service men and women. "This is exciting, there's a lot of people here and I got to invite my whole family so it's a wonderful experience," said new US citizen, Katherine Dixon. The new Americans represent every branch of the military and more than 20 countries. Eakathat Khanthasa said, "It felt pretty much like a dream come true, I've been waiting for this for a while." Some have longed to become a US citizen for as long as they can remember, and with the day finally here, they took time to reflect. "I'm just thinking about my parents, they struggled to get me here and throughout the ceremony I was just thinking about the other struggles and everything I've gone through just to become a citizen," Patricio Salgado said. "My parents were immigrants and they had to go through hard times to do what they had to do to become citizens and to look back on that to see what doors they opened for me, I wanted to give back to the country," said Khanthasa. Regardless of the new citizens' native countries, they now share a very special common bond. Thursday’s ceremony was especially significant since this is Constitution Week. The Constitution was signed on this day in 1787.

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