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New Americans take Oath of Allegiance

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KINSTON, N.C. -

About two dozen individuals from around the world were sworn in as new American citizens Thursday morning. The day is symbolic since it's the day the rest of the nation celebrates it's independence.

The Lenoir County Historical Association began hosting the event in 2005. The Naturalization Ceremony took place on the grounds of historic Harmony Hall. 

In a list issued by immigration services with the US Department of Homeland Security, the candidates come from Brazil, Burma, Canada, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Congo-Kinshasa, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, India, Jordan, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Togo, Turkey, Vietnam and Yemen.

Racquel Rowland of the Philippines says she came to the US in May 2004 to work, and was very excited to find out that she would be sworn in on the Fourth of July. "When I got the notice I was like...oh wow...this is Independence Day, now I am going to have my oath taking. I feel like that's very memorable and I can't forget that day."

Across the country more than 7,800 individuals took the oath. The ceremony is an annual tradition for the immigration agency's celebration of Independence Day. 

U.S. House Representative Walter B. Jones was also present and told the individuals, "our nation's greatness depends on people like you."

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