CURRIE, NC (WWAY) — The liberties and freedoms that come along with being an American are often taken for granted. But there are 110 brand new American citizens who know just how special it is to call the land of the free home.
‘I pledge allegiance to the flag.’ Those words now unite 110 people from 46 different countries around the world.
“I feel like I’m a new person,” said new citizen Biljana Warner from Croatia. “I accomplished another goal in my life that I’ve always wanted to.”
“Now I have great opportunity as a citizen,” new American Sushmaben Patel said. “It’s not describable right now.”
Like Patel and her parents who also were sworn in Saturday, many of the new citizens waited years to be able to call themselves Americans.
Although U.S. Citizenship Field Officer Jeffrey Sapko has performed the ceremony dozens of times, he says he still swells with pride when he hears folks recite their new pledge for the first time.
“It never gets old,” Sapko said. “It never gets tiring. I always leave with the same feeling after every ceremony.”
Saturday’s ceremony was extra special. It was held on the Moores Creek National Battlefield grounds, the site of a pivotal battle in the American Revolution.
“The British Army at that time was a force that most countries didn’t mess with because they couldn’t win,” explained park Superintendent Tyrone Brandyburg. “But the victory here let those Patriots understand that they could actually defeat the British.”
And they did a little more than four months later, formally declaring our independence on July 4, 1776. Freedom that still rings around the world.
“Now I can vote and be a part of America,” Patel said.
“I believe that I’m sent over here to help people,” Warner said. “I like to help people. I’m very sociable.”
The phrase ‘I’m proud to be an American’ echoed throughout the crowd.
Three of the new Americans are part of the United States armed forces and are now officially members of the country they’ve been fighting to defend.