America’s newest citizens took an oath in a special ceremony Friday.
Sixty-three people from 31 countries took the oath of allegiance and became U.S. citizens during the naturalization ceremony held at the Wilda Marston Theatre at the Loussac Library.
The ceremony is conducted by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and is held annually at various locations around Alaska.
Prospective citizens must learn to read, write, speak and understand English. Applicants must also learn U.S. civics and history.
The achievement brought tears of joy to some people’s eyes.
“There was a very emotional moment,” said Gaelle Ahl, who is from Belgium. “And it means that now I am actually a part of this country and a big part of the family of the United States of America. That was a big deal.”
About 70 to 100 people are naturalized each month in Alaska.