More than 70 from 41 different countries become U.S. citizens in Monticello ceremony

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WRIC) — People from all across the world are celebrating their first Independence Day as citizens of the United States.

The 54th annual Independence Day celebration and naturalization ceremony was held at Monticello on Monday.

More than 70 people from 41 different countries became U.S. citizens.

The group recited the Pledge of Allegiance and sang the National Anthem for the first time as Americans.

“Honestly, we were in search of the American dream,” said Kimberly Monge-Ferra. “My mom was a single mom, and so the situation in Costa Rica isn’t great and she was just like let’s try this out, we know people out in the states.”

The celebration is the oldest naturalization ceremony outside of a courtroom in the country.

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