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Charlotte naturalization ceremony welcomes 17 new US citizens on July Fourth celebrations

Davis Guzman receives his certificate as he became one of 17 new U.S citizens recognized at a naturalization ceremony at the Charlotte Museum of History.
Elvis Menayese
/
WFAE
Davis Guzman receives his certificate as he became one of 17 new U.S citizens recognized at a naturalization ceremony at the Charlotte Museum of History.

As part of today’s Independence Day celebrations, the Charlotte Museum of History held its annual naturalization ceremony. 17 people took the oath to become U.S. citizens. 

A children's choir sang the national anthem in a packed room at the museum filled with American flags and new U.S. citizens, who immigrated from countries such as Kenya, Peru and Finland.

Davis Guzman moved to the U.S. from Belize four years ago for a better education, employment opportunities and other benefits.

“And now, I get the right to partake in the political process, which is very important. I feel like I’ll definitely make much of that opportunity and just be a productive citizen of the United States,” Guzman said.

This year, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will welcome about 11,000 new citizens in more than 195 naturalization ceremonies from June 28-July 5.

Alexandre Pinheiro Mourao from Brazil holds a mini American flag as he receives his certificate.
Elvis Menayese
/
WFAE
Alexandre Pinheiro Mourao from Brazil holds a mini American flag as he receives his certificate.

Alexandre Pinheiro Mourao, from Brazil, held a mini American flag as he received his certificate. He said he’s looking forward to carrying out his civic duties.

“Definitely, for us, it’s important to vote because we can have the opportunity to participate in the big decisions and the path this country is going to take in the future,” Mourao said.

Mourao was accompanied at the ceremony by his wife and 12-year-old daughter. They planned to celebrate the occasion by watching the fireworks in uptown.

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Elvis Menayese is a Report for America corps member covering issues involving race and equity for WFAE. He previously was a member of the Queens University News Service. Major support for WFAE's Race & Equity Team comes from Novant Health.