Tallahassee's Celebrate America event at Tom Brown Park has music, fireworks and other family fun. But it was also a celebration to welcome new Americans.
The Capital City's newest U.S. citizens come from many lands, including India, Iran, Taiwan, the Philippines,The Gambia, South Africa and the small Eastern European nation of Moldova . But they bid allegiance to their homelands goodbye on the Fourth of July as U.S. Magistrate Judge Charles Stampelos administered the oath of citizenship.
"It is right there in the Declaration of Independence that immigration and naturalization of new citizens is essential to the health of this nation," he told the10 citizen candidates.
After the ceremony, he remarked, "These people have struggled for years and have gone through a very difficult process not only by themselves, but with their families standing by their side and it's just wonderful to be able to swear them in on this very special day."
The new Americans first action as citizens? Registering to vote a county elections office booth set up right next to the stage.