TOWER BARRACKS, Germany - U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria hosted its naturalization ceremony welcoming 25 new citizens of the United States May 22 at the Tower View Conference Center, here.
The ceremony opened with the National Anthem sung by Farrah Dayley, Next, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services officer Maria Trevizo-Ramirez welcomed the new citizens.
“When you joined the U.S. Army’s forces before becoming U.S. citizens you promised to support and defend the constitution of the United States,” said Trevizo-Ramirez. “You demonstrate a remarkable act of patriotism by fulfilling that commitment every day with honor and bravery.”
Following the Oath of Allegiance, Brig. Gen. Joseph E. Hilbert, commander, 7th Army Training Command, and Command Sgt. Maj. Hermes F. Acevedo, U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria, welcomed the 25 new citizens.
“Those of us who have been American citizens for many years can learn much from you. We are one nation of people from many backgrounds bound together by certain principles of freedom, equality, and justice,” said Hilbert.
Hilbert ended his speech using the poem The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus, a text illustrating the Statue of Liberty as patroness of immigrants.
The ceremony concluded with Hilbert and Acevedo distributing certificates of naturalization to America’s newest citizens.
The naturalized citizens originate from 23 different countries: Afghanistan, Bolivia, Cameroon, Congo, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Federated States of Micronesia, Ghana, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Nepal, Nigeria, Philippines, Romania, Sierra Leone, South Korea, Togo, and Turkey.
Mawe Badjalimbe, originating from Togo, explained, “I am proud that I joined the team of the Army. I am proud to be American.”
The participants of the ceremony cheered for each other while they achieved their certificate.
“I really liked everyone’s excitement and how people came to support each other,” said Leon Grant.
Grant is originally from Guyana and has been working towards his goal of becoming a true American for 10 years.
“I have been in the states since I was 9 years old and I grew up in New York,” said Grant. “I’m not sure how to feel. I was so nervous coming in, but at the same time I just wanted to get it over with because I have waited so long.”
View the livestream of the event at: https://www.facebook.com/USAGBavaria/videos/1010325386619690
For photos of the event visit: https://flickr.com/photos/usagbavaria/albums/72177720308530194