MEMPHIS, TN - (WMC-TV) – This 4th of July holiday is an honor for many who can now call themselves American. Tonight they tell us what that means to them.
It's a moment Margaret Danielle Elemassi has been looking forward to: the chance to officially become an American.
"I've waited for this moment for about 12 years now," Elemassi said. "Today means freedom, liberty, and justice."
"I feel like being an American is a special gift from God. Things like this don't happen every day," Jackeline Meadows said.
The Memphis Field Office of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services conducted a special Independence Day ceremony at the Memphis AutoZone Park prior to Wednesday night's Redbirds game.
More than 100 people became naturalized citizens.
"My parents recently became citizens a year or two ago, but they did it after I became 18 years of age so I had to wait to get the money to pay to go through the process," Elemassi said.
Candidates come from all corners of the world, and it's one of the most important days in their lives.
"They represent so many different countries, so a very diverse group that we have here and it shows the diverse population we have here in Memphis," Lynuel Dennis with the Memphis Field Office of US Citizenship and Immigration Services said.
It's a day they have dreamed for a long time and a moment that signifies a new beginning in their lives.
"I'm so excited. I'm proud to be an American," Meadows said.
The group also received a recorded message from President Obama congratulating them.