For several dozen Alaska men and women hailing from 29 different countries, this Fourth of July marks an important occasion.
It’s their first Independence Day as American citizens: Thursday, they participated in a formal naturalization ceremony at Kincaid Park’s chalet. For some, the road to citizenship has been a long one and following the ceremony, there were emotional celebrations between friends and family.
“I feel happy,” said Sarocha Sawyer, holding a mini American flag and her new citizenship certificate. “I feel a part of America.”
According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, nearly 9,000 people will become U.S. citizens during more than 100 naturalization ceremonies across the country this week.