SOUTHPORT, NC (WWAY) — As patriotic music filled the air at the NC 4th of July Festival in Southport, more than 100 people from around the globe were granted U.S. citizenship.
For the past 20 years, a naturalization ceremony has been held at the festival. According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, more than 6,000 people will become American citizens this weekend in nearly 75 ceremonies across the country.
“I feel really excited,” said Jenna Shambley who is originally from Canada. “It was really cool to see so many different people from so many different places, coming together.”
For some the process of becoming a U.S. citizen took many years, and for all, it included a tedious civics exam. For Sherif Farhe, from Egypt, that process makes him appreciate his new country even more.
“I think we felt it really,” Farhe said. “We felt it was hard, but it was nice. We felt the importance of it, we felt the oath of allegiance, every single word of it. It really meant something.”
Both Farhe and Shambley said they are most excited about the ability to finally vote in the United States.
“I wish to vote,” Farhe said. “I only wanted to vote, and I know that I didn’t have the right to vote, and today I was granted this right, so I will certainly vote.”