GARDINER — On Thursday, 40 people representing 25 different countries gathered at Yellowstone National Park to celebrate the end of a long journey to US citizenship.
Nine years ago, Cecilia Berrett moved from the Philippines to Wyoming where she married her husband Jacob and started a family.
Jacob says he’s seen Cecilia put in countless hours to gain citizenship. Finally getting to watch her receive her naturalization certificate was a special moment for him.
“Pretty emotional for me,” said Jacob. “Watching her study every day, seeing her struggle to get things right—I’m very proud of what she’s done.”
Hard work, but Cecilia says she’d do it all over again.
“It’s worth it. You wait a long time and study hard for the history,” she said.
The Naturalization Ceremony marks the beginning of a new chapter for these 40 citizens originating from places all over the world and finding a new home in places like Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana.
In the crowd was a melting pot of different cultures, people with new stories and perspectives to be shared.
Families and friends stood off to the side with proud smiles as they watched their loved ones achieve recognition for the commitment they’ve shown.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services often participates in naturalization ceremonies at museums or national parks to celebrate the end of an immigrant’s journey to citizenship and honor them, a new sense of freedom and accomplishment Cecilia and her family look forward to.
“I made it,” said Cecilia. “I can’t explain all the emotions, but here we go—I’m a U.S. Citizen now.”