Just one day before the Fourth of July, St. Louis welcomed more than 50 new United States citizens.
The group took the oath of citizenship during an annual naturalization ceremony in the Old Courthouse in downtown St. Louis.
The immigrants came from 26 countries, including Vietnam, Nigeria, Nepal, Albania and Germany.
Congresswoman Ann Wagner of Missouri’s Second District was the guest speaker at the ceremony, which she said was her first.
“Just like the millions who came before blazing the trail, and like the 52 soon-to-be Americans who are standing tall and proud, each and every one of you brings new hopes, new dreams, new ideas, new optimism about the future,” Wagner said.
Wagner's message focused on the desire for liberty she said brings together U.S. citizens.
“It is the thread that weaves its way through the American spirit, and it is the fabric of our American way of life," she said. "We celebrate new patriots like Damir and his mother Luiza, who fled Uzbekistan to escape ethnic cleansing and persecution in search of a better life.”
These new citizens included professors, stay-at-home moms, students, and small business owners.