By Makenzie O’Keefe

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – Aurora is celebrating dozens of new American citizens who took the oath of allegiance on Thursday morning.

(credit: CBS)

A total of 72 people from 35 different countries packed the Aurora City Council chambers. To become a citizen they were required to show commitment to the principles that bind Americans, and in turn can now enjoy the rights and privileges citizens have. For most, the biggest privilege is the right to vote.

(credit: CBS)

Sophia Marx told CBS4 she fled Iraq in 2012 after a bomb scare near her daughter’s school. That’s when she dedicated to move her family to America in search of a better life, something she had been dreaming of since she was a little girl.

“I’m finally able to declare loyalty to a country I’ve loved for a long time. I took the oath as a kid many times, by myself, and pretended I was in a ceremony,” she said while tearing up. “It’s a great day for me.”

Sophia Marx (credit: CBS)

Like Marx, others also decided to get their citizenship because of family.

“My little girl was 5 when we came here,” explained Greigoiry Belenkoy, who came from Russia. “I have spent 12 years of my life here and now my love and loyalty is here.”

Many of the new citizens said that aside from being able to participate in government, they are most looking forward to feeling a sense of belonging in the community.

Makenzie O’Keefe joined the CBS4 team as a reporter in 2017. Read her bio, connect with her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter at @makenziepokeefe or email her your story ideas.


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