I first applied for permanent residency in 2003 through my employer and became a permanent resident in 2005 along with my immediate family members. In January I applied for citizenship and today I was sworn in with 98 others from around the world at an oath ceremony in Phoenix. It was a moving ceremony in many respects with elements of solemnity, exhortation, and celebration. Several new Americans spoke including an Iraqi Priest who expressed thanks for religious freedom, a Mexican woman who found speaking at all a challenge because of her strong emotions relating to her joy at being granted US citizenship, and a Romanian woman who expressed profound gratitude in simple words and strong emotions. As for me, I’m very glad to have been granted full rights of participation in American society and I look forward to making a positive contribution in whatever way or ways that I am able.