31 May 2014 — Williamsport Sun-Gazette
By NICO SALVATORI
Over 30 individuals from around the world became U.S. citizens Friday morning at a naturalization ceremony in U.S. Middle District Court before Judge Matthew W. Brann.
Originally from Germany moved to the United States when he graduated from high school and attended Slippery Rock University. In 1990, after finishing law school at Georgetown University, he began practicing law in the city with his firm located on West Third Street.
He provided remarks during the service in front of 33 new citizens from 16 different countries.
“We have traveled a long and sometimes arduous journey to be here today and become citizens of this great country,” he said. “Some of us came here by plane, some of us by boat and others by foot, but unless we are one of the first Americans, we all came here from somewhere else. And there were millions of immigrants who came before us. They came with a desire for a better life, freedom, equality and democracy.
“Immigrants signed their names to the Declaration of Independence,” he continued. “Immigrants helped lay the railroad tracks and build the cities … fought in two world wars, helped defeat Nazis and communists … became pioneers and leaders of industry and society.”
Those naturalized Friday in the federal courthouse came from Austria, Brazil, Cameroon, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Germany, India, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, Turkey, Ukraine, Vietnam and the People’s Republic of China.
During the ceremony, the new citizens were gifted a citizen’s almanac and a U.S. Constitution from Judge Brann before being greeted by the local chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution, who gave each new citizen a small American flag and provided snacks and refreshments for all.