By Brandon Bosworth, Assistant Editor, Ho`okele
More than 60 immigrants from 19 nations became U.S. citizens during a naturalization ceremony held Sept. 17 on the deck of the historic Battleship Missouri Memorial.
United States District Court Chief Judge Susan Oki Mollway presided and administered the Oath of Allegiance required of new citizens.
Capt. Adolfo H. Ibarra, commanding officer of USS Port Royal (CG 73), spoke at the ceremony. Ibarra is originally from Honduras and immigrated to the U.S. in 1980, settling in Hillburn, NY. Following completion of the Naval Academy Preparatory School, he graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with a bachelor of science degree in history and was commissioned in 1992.
“In becoming citizens of the United States, you are showing your own commitment to upholding the ideals, values and responsibilities of being an American,” Ibarra said to the 63 new citizens.
“For you, Constitution and Citizenship Day will no longer be a date in the calendar. Just like my mother, my sister and I celebrate August as our second birthday, Sept. 17, 2015 will be your second birthday. Always cherish the date and make the American dream a reality for you and your families,” Ibarra said.