KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT)
More than 7,000 people across the U.S. are celebrating the Fourth of July for the first time as U.S. citizens, including 25 who became citizens on Thursday in a Naturalization Ceremony at Harmony Hall in Kinston.
People from 19 different countries made their way to Kinston on Thursday, excited and eager to officially call America their home.
Representing countries like Vietnam, the Peoples Republic of Congo, Ireland, and other nations.
One married couple at today’s ceremony – Judith Roman and Julio Castelao – are from Cuba.
Judith said, “We are a couple that come together to this beautiful country. It’s something really special and what better way than Fourth of July?”
With American flags in hand, and smiles on their faces, the couple pledged their Oath to America for the first time.
Judith said, “This means everything to me. I always get really emotional, but yes, I am so proud of this country! God Bless America!”
The high school sweethearts have lived in the U.S. since 2013..
Julio said he and Judith are happy to “be a citizen of the greatest country, so we are really happy!”
They knew the citizenship process was important for them to go through together, side by side.
“I mean, we came (to the U.S.) together, so we have been happy doing the whole process together.”
Julio works as a designer and Judith is a pre-school teacher.
Now, the two are planning their future as American citizens, with goals to “Buy a house, have kids and enjoy our American life.”
Judith added, “We worked really hard, so hopefully all Americans will be proud of us too.”
Julio said, “I always said this is the country of opportunity, so we are trying to make the best out of that.”
Judeth and Julio are spending their 4th of July holiday in Durham, where they live.
To celebrate their first Independence Day as Americans, they plan to watch a baseball game in North Carolina between a U.S. team and a Cuban team.