A total of 25 persons became new U.S. citizens last week in a naturalization ceremony at the U.S. District Court in Garapan and were welcomed into the American family by Gov. Ralph DLG Torres himself.
After first thanking District Court Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona and Magistrate Judge Heather Kennedy, Torres told the new Americans that being a “part of America means being a part of something greater than yourself.”
“It is a place where we can contribute for the benefit of each other and create new opportunities for the people around you. This is why today is not the end of your journey. It’s only the beginning,” said Torres in his speech.
While recognizing that several applicants originated from other countries such as the Philippines, China, Korea, and more, Torres said that each and every applicant had their own story, which is now a part of an even bigger story.
“…What unites us all together is our commitment to the United States of America and the people that call this great nation home,” he said.
Torres also connected the naturalization ceremony to Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream. “For those who don’t know, Dr. King was an American who devoted his life to advancing equality and opportunity for all. He called us to address the challenges within our community together.”
Of the 26 naturalization applications, only one was absent from the naturalization ceremony.
The new citizens are Arcelia and Danilo Alcantara, Antonio and Conchita Alegre, Gerald C. Anciete, Maria Belibei, Marlon Borbon, Birui H. Cabrera, Meiqing J. Cabrera, Merci Canzado, Young Soon Choi, Maria Victoria G. Danao, Yanping W. Deleon Guerrero, Kristine Ann N. Encarnacion, Leonora I. Fernando, Florencia Gacutan, Framzel J. Granada, Evelyn G. Guerrero, Arturo H. Larinay, Soledad B. Lopez, Geoffrey G. Melchor, Jovita S. Raymundo, Ana E. Reyes, Xueping Y. Reyes, Remedios S. Sta. Ana, and Melba Vilaga.