By Shaina Marie Santos
SANTA RITA, Guam (Nov. 15, 2012) – The District Court of Guam hosted a Veterans Day naturalization ceremony at the courthouse in Hagatna Nov. 13.
Keynote speaker Rear Adm. Tilghman Payne, Commander, Joint Region Marianas, offered his congratulations and expressed the importance of choosing to become a part of the United States.
“Many of our citizens never have to take the oath that you just took,” he said. “But it struck me as you went through your oath; that that’s very similar to the oath that service members take when you first come into the military, to support and defend the constitution of the United States.”
Chief Judge of the District Court of Guam Frances Tydingco-Gatewood said she was honored that Payne accepted the invitation to attend the event.
“We wanted to honor our veterans by saying a few words about them and also by inviting Rear Adm. Payne to be the keynote speaker for all of these 50 citizens who just became U.S. citizens,” she said. “You hear about how people work hard… to become a U.S. citizen. This is really a special ceremony, a special event that so many of us take for granted.”
Naturalized U.S. citizen and Navy spouse Lucia Anastos said the event was very emotional for her.
“I am very happy, it’s been a long journey,” she said. “It’s an honor for me to become a U.S. citizen. It means a lot. Both my kids were born here in the island and they were born U.S. citizens so to me it’s being…part of the family, we all share the same citizenship.”
The new naturalized U.S. citizens originated from Palau, the Philippines, South Korea and Italy.
For more information, contact the Joint Region Marianas Public Affairs Office
at (671) 349-4055.