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Celebrating Citizenship at Oakton High

>Class Peter Nketia-Akonnor from Ghana, who serves in the Air National Guard at Joint Base Andrews, smiles proudly as Congressman Gerry Connolly congratulates him on becoming a U.S. citizen.

>Class Peter Nketia-Akonnor from Ghana, who serves in the Air National Guard at Joint Base Andrews, smiles proudly as Congressman Gerry Connolly congratulates him on becoming a U.S. citizen. Photo contributed

Oakton High School's auditorium was filled to capacity Saturday morning as family and friends watched 432 of their loved ones take the oath to become American citizens.

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Speaking at a naturalization ceremony Saturday in Oakton where 432 people from 85 countries took their oath of U.S. citizenship, U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-11) urged the assembled group of family and friends ‘to help make America even greater.’

The new citizens hailed from 85 different countries. Patriotic fervor filled the cavernous auditorium as the crowd waved small American flags and the oath was administered by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service Washington Region District Director Sarah Taylor.

U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-11) congratulated the citizens and told those in attendance, "As citizens, you share a responsibility as well: the responsibility to help America live up to its ideals; the responsibility to make this a better country. You can help make America even greater," Connolly added, "by virtue of taking that oath and committing yourself to be a proud, active citizen."