Local News

26 celebrate July 4th by becoming U.S. citizens at State Capitol

Posted July 4, 2016 10:16 p.m. EDT
Updated July 4, 2016 11:16 p.m. EDT

— People from around the world marked the nation’s birthday in an unforgettable way, by becoming citizens of the United States at the State Capitol.

Those born in the United States never have to raise their hands and renounce allegiance to any foreign prince, potentate or sovereignty or utter the words “I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”

The Constitution itself decrees that all born in the country are citizens, but for those born on distant shores, like Parvez Marz from Pakistan, it takes “a lot of work and a lot of time.”

Marz waited 13 years to learn enough English and civics and complete the required paperwork and interviews so that he could become a naturalized citizen.

More than two dozen people intent on becoming American citizens gathered at the State Capitol grounds Monday afternoon for a ceremony that included a reading of the Declaration of Independence and a performance of Taps.

Those born in America often don’t give thought to the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution, but it’s what those documents guarantee that inspired the 26 people from around the world to pledge allegiance to the American flag on the Fourth of July.

“That’s something very special, very special,” Marz said. “Most of the people, they take off, especially on the Fourth of July and especially in this building, but I’m honored to do that.”

The ceremony kicked off an afternoon of celebration on Capitol Square that included patriotic music from the Raleigh Concert Band and historical reenactments from costumed volunteers.