As part of Constitution Week, the Alexandria City Council welcomed 30 new U.S. citizens to their adopted home.
Just before the City Council meeting on Sept. 14, 18 city residents and 12 others from throughout Northern Virginia, took their citizenship oath on Market Square. After a reception, the new citizens went upstairs to council chambers where they were recognized by Mayor William D. Euille and the other council members.
“This is a wonderful day for all of you and we would like to thank you for allowing us to share it with you,” Euille said. He gave each citizen a copy of a proclamation declaring Sept. 14 Alexandria’s Citizenship Day.
“It was a wonderful event,” said Alina Bravo, one of the city residents who became a U.S. citizen. “I was so proud that the mayor was there and the ceremony was beautiful. The flag and the singing of the National Anthem made me feel very proud.”
Bravo came to the U.S. from Mexico when she was 15 years old. She graduated from Wakefield High School in Arlington and from the Maryland Institute, College of Art in Baltimore.
“I would have become a citizen before this but I was in college and didn’t really have a permanent address,” she said. “I have been here a long time and this is my home. I am very proud to be a U.S. citizen.”
The city plans to make the event an annual occurrence. “We plan to do this every year at the beginning of September when City Council returns from their summer break,” said JoAnn Maldonado, the multicultural services coordinator for the city. “We will work with the Office of Citizenship and Immigration and they will invite the participants. It was truly a wonderful experience to see the looks on the faces of these new citizens as they received their proclamation from the mayor and got so much recognition from Council.”