STURBRIDGE (CBS) — Old Sturbridge Village hosted 152 people who took the oath of citizenship Wednesday. They joined the 14,000 people nationwide that became citizens this week.
The Old Sturbridge Village workers, dressed in traditional clothing from a 1780’s New England village, welcomed the new Americans during the naturalization ceremony.
“We’re so proud to have you here on such a special day in your lives,” said one ceremony speaker.
Lyvia Yiakis is a new citizen from Brazil. “It was a long journey. We worked very hard, but we’re here, we made it!” she said.
Bismark Ohemeng, originally from Ghana said, “Today is a very good day and beautiful.”
All 52 countries that the newcomers hailed from were listed.
Judge Kenneth Neiman presided over the ceremony. He quoted President Lyndon Johnson, saying, “Our beautiful America, President Johnson said, was built by a nation of strangers, from a hundred different places or more they have poured forth into an empty land joining and blending into a mighty irresistible tide.”
The Oath of Allegiance made it official. “You’re all Americans now!” said Neiman.
Anthony Boland from the United Kingdom said, “This is great. It’s a great honor and something I’ve wanted to do for a long time.”
Aidah Wanjiku of Kenya added, “Today means a day that my dreams come true. This is a land that has given so much to me, and I want to give back to it.”
Ten-year-old Jayden Kanyi chimed in, “It’s a great country and I love it.”
There were also naturalization ceremonies today in Lowell and Northhampton.