COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — It’s a moment dozens of people have been waiting for. Thursday morning, they raised their right hands and officially became United States citizens.
Each year, nearly 750,000 people become naturalized citizens.
Thursday’s candidates came from 17 different countries, including Barbados, Cuba, Mexico, and Vietnam. All have been in the U.S. for at least five years and had to be able to speak, read, write and understand the English language.
Angie Diehl has been living here for 14 years.
“I’m honoring my husband, who did 25 years in the U.S. Navy,” said Diehl.
Diehl moved to the United States from England. In the same building she works in, Diehl raised her right hand and officially became a United States citizen.
“It was just time for me to do the oath and become a United States citizen,” said Diehl.
Inside Library 21c, one by one the new citizens received their certificates of citizenship.
“It took me maybe four or five months to at least become a U.S. citizen,” said Rafeal Torres Rico.
As their families looked on, pictures were taken, hugs were given and a new life began.
“When you’re young your understanding is just become American,” Torres Rico said. “American is an American and it’s good to be an American.”
Diehl said preparing for the citizenship test was grueling, but in the end it was all worth it.
“If you really want to do something, then you just do what you have to do,” she said.