Wednesday, 14 people from 8 countries lifted their right hands and took the oath to become U.S. citizens.
The naturalization ceremony started at 11 a.m. at the United States District Court in Macon.
During the ceremony, Larry Schlesinger conducted the invocation and Boy Scout troop John Haithcock stated the Pledge of Allegiance.
Family members in the crowd supporting their loved ones’ process to citizenship. For some, it wasn’t easy -- it included tests on U.S. civics, history, and the ability to speak, write and understand the basic principles of U.S. laws.
Radwan Shushane, originally from the North African nation of Tunisia, says that he made the trip to the U.S in 2000.
“Yeah, it was a while back, 17 years ago almost,” said Shushane.
He said that it was done to further his education and become a professor at Columbus State University.
He says he applied for a visa to enhance his education but had to wait 5 years before he can apply for citizenship.
When asked if he couldn't apply for citizenship before then, Shushane said, "No, I could not. Not at all, but I was a believer. I knew that it was going to happen, so I stay with it."
As a group, they said aloud, “That I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same," some waving around the American flag in joy and others enjoying a piece of cake after the ceremony.
After the oath, the diverse group recited the Pledge of Allegiance for the first time as US citizens.
Judge Marc Treadwell congratulated the new citizens and said that it’s always a pleasure to see new hardworking citizens join the "Land of the Free and Home of the Brave."
“It just says a lot for our country that we have these people that will work hard who do it the right way, want to become citizens the right way and sacrifice and do what it takes and take that oath,” said Treadwell.
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