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Immigrants Become Citizens At Naturalization Ceremony

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - Inside the Old Courthouse hangs red, white and blue all over. Two young children wave American flags to the tune of "Yankee Doodle Dandy" played by the Air National Guard Band of the Central states. Families from the Philippines to Somalia take photos by the flag to remember the day they became official American citizens at the Naturalization Ceremony.

"I'm so excited. I can vote now. I feel great," said Sorbari Zegenee.

Born in Nigeria, 19-year-old Zegenee holds her certificate of citizenship and poses for a photo with Francis Slay, Mayor of the City of St. Louis. She moved to the United States when she was six years old and said it was difficult for her to learn English. Now, fluent in the language, Zegenee is a nursing student at Forest Park Community College and a true American.

About 52 immigrants from 28 different countries became U.S. citizens on July 3rd. The Air National Guard Band held a concert of traditional patriotic songs, the Boy Scouts of America advanced and retired the flag and Mayor Slay spoke to the new citizens, welcoming them to their new home.

Video and Story by Haley Luke