Naturalization ceremony welcomes 26 new Americans
Daniel Puninu of Manchester takes the Oath of Allegiance while holding his daughter, Genesis, 2, during a naturalization ceremony at the American Legion Sweeney Post in Manchester on Thursday. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)
Two are already members of the U.S. military. One is a veteran, having served in the U.S. Navy for eight years. He swore American citizenship 13 years after his hitch ended.
The three, as well as the others, became citizens on May 30, the traditional date of Memorial Day before the date was floated to create a three-day weekend. The ceremony took place at the Sweeney American Legion Post.
"We are loyal to the Constitution and proud to ensure its liberty," said Anthony Violanti, himself a veteran. "The reward is the knowledge that we have contributed to something bigger than ourselves."
Also receiving their citizenship were Colombian native Jhon Castillo Santana, a member of the Army National Guard, and Suman Reddivari, from India, who turned 33 Thursday.
"It's a great country," Reddivari said about his native India, "but this is where my life is."
The new citizens come from Albania, Angola, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Canada, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Germany, India, Iraq, Jordan, Mexico, Nepal, Pakistan, Peru, Portugal, Somalia and the United Kingdom.
"This is now officially your country," the President said, "a home to protect and defend and serve by active, engaged citizenship."
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