CUMBERLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — Thirty-one people from 22 different countries on Friday became United States citizens at a naturalization ceremony at Greely Middle School in Cumberland.
They represent countries like Somalia, Iraq, France and New Zealand. Each of them has their own journey that brought them to the U.S. Some came to join family and others for education and there are those who fled war in their homelands.
For the middle school students, it was a real life education in how people become citizens of the U.S. Greely Middle School sixth-grader Adele Brown had a keen interest in the event, her mother was one of the people taking the oath of citizenship. Marine Brown has lived in the U.S. for years, all of her children are U.S. citizens, but she has held on to her french citizenship. In recent years, she says it has gotten harder to travel without a U.S. passport.
"It was increasingly difficult traveling abroad and coming back from the U.S., I'm the only one in my family who is not a citizen," said Brown.
For other people, like Anna Maria Arciniegas, who fled Columbia ten years ago, becoming a U.S. citizen was the realization of a long-held dream.
"I admire this country, I admire its history, I admire the people here, I think its a great nation and I'm proud to be part of it now," said Arciniegas.
After the new citizens were sworn in, the League of Women Voters had representatives there to immediately get them to register to vote.