AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) Twenty-two immigrants were sworn in as United States citizens inside the State House during a naturalization ceremony.
“This ceremony, I've been waiting for almost 8 years. I'm so glad I finally did it, I'm so proud to be an American citizen.”
Djima Ainan has been living in the country for 8 years after moving from Djibouti. To her, this ceremony has a little extra meaning.
“I'm a case worker. We help all immigrants getting settled down, getting an education, getting all the services that they need, mostly getting integrated into the society.”
The ceremony took place in the Hall of Flags. It was a fitting setting for the group who was also taking the time to honor the veterans.
“We try and focus a lot of our ceremonies around certain events like Veteran's Day. We did have a former military person that was naturalized today and also a couple other veterans and their wives that were here that were being sworn in.”
“I am no veteran but I'm so proud to say I'm a Mainer and we have women veterans. I say thank you to all veterans for serving the country and I hope one day I will be maybe a veteran and serving my country.”
As the new citizens took their oaths and received their certificates, emotions were running high.
“I get choked up almost every ceremony that we have. There's always a special, there's always special people and everyone here in our ceremonies are just special.”
And as a proud new American, Djima has a message for fellow immigrants following in her path.
“Try, try and apply. Don't give up.”