One hundred future United States citizens converged on the Mount Nov. 12 to conclude their journey to citizenship.

citizens taking oath in university theatre.

One hundred future United States citizens converged on the Mount Nov. 12 to conclude their journey to citizenship. Immigrants from 36 different countries were prepared to take the oath of allegiance and become full U.S. citizens.

The ceremony started with a pounding of the magistrate's gavel and the presentation of the colors, so touching to see in the context of the event. The American flag represented the country that these people would soon become full citizens of. After the presentation of the colors, the Mount Saint Joseph University choir sang the national anthem of the United States, another emotional moment, as the future American citizens joined in to sing the anthem of their new country.

Then the names of the countries represented by the people to be naturalized were called out. It was interesting to see how many people had come from which country with almost every part of the world represented. After some words from the magistrate, they all took the oath of allegiance.

"I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God."

This oath has several interesting sections, especially when it comes to taking up arms in the military. Some U.S. citizens, including myself, may forget that we also have an obligation to take up arms against enemies of the United States. However, we never had to take an oath to do such a thing. Also, the last line is especially interesting, because it compels American citizens to take any government obligation freely and without any second thoughts.

After the oath, the people were officially declared U.S. citizens, which was an exciting moment in the ceremony. Representative Steve Chabot then reflected on the new responsibilities of being a U.S. citizen. He encouraged the now-U.S. citizens to use their newly acquired right to vote, a privilege that all U.S. citizens should take advantage of. The ceremony concluded with the retirement of the colors and the declaration of the new citizenship of the attendees.

It was very touching to see the attendees celebrate and rejoice after the long journey to citizenship. The energy in the theater was intoxicating, reinforcing my appreciation for my country. When appreciation and confidence in our country might be waning, it is reinvigorating to see people from all over the world want to come here.

As one attendee who prefers to remain anonymous said, “I always felt like I was American, I loved basketball. I came here for the opportunity, the American Dream, and a better life for my kids.”

It is one thing to hear about how the United States gives all these opportunities to immigrants, but it is much more moving to hear someone actually speak about the American Dream for them.

Another attendee reinforced this idea saying, I came to the U.S. in 2013 from (the) Congo. We immigrate from my country to the U.S. to find new opportunity.” Their hopes and dreams about living a new, prosperous life in America is an inspiration to all of us.