CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Among more than one-thousand people celebrating the 239th birthday of the United States of America in Cape Girardeau's Arena Park were some of the country's newest citizens.
21 people officially became citizens in a naturalization ceremony that took place about an hour before Saturday's fireworks display.
All of the new citizens were handed the microphone at the service, and said a few words about their past.
Many spoke of how difficult their journey was, and explained that the moment was one they'd been looking forward to for quite some time.
Nigerian native Chigozie Emetarom said she was proud to have made it.
"I'm shaking because I'm excited, I can't actually believe I'm here!" Emetarom explained, "to think of where I came from and where I started from, and now after all of this time I can actually call myself an American."
The group consisted of people from 16 different countries, many of whom registered to vote at a reception immediately following the service.