Children take oath of citizenship in Salt Lake City

Posted at 6:07 PM, Dec 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-28 20:07:28-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- Several children took a special and important oath in Salt Lake City Thursday—They officially became U.S. citizens.

Most of the nine children were under 13 years old, and each came from a unique background.

They were born in countries like Peru, China, Thailand, Ethiopia, Taiwan, Iraq and Mexico.

Ten-year-old Jaryd Ceuto said his mother and grandfather immigrated to the U.S. from Peru, and brought him with them.

"It was a hard work to my mom," he said, of the process to come to the country and become a citizen. "She had to do a lot of stuff [for] me to be an American."

The Murray family from Providence adopted Lachlan Murray from China when she was 16 months old. Now, she's a 12-year-old 6th grader.

"It's been really fun to have her be a part of our family," Rose Judd-Murray, Lachlan's mother, said.

She said she and Lachlan have talked about what citizenship means, and what it means to have the opportunity to come to the United States.

"We talk a lot about what it means to be a support for other people, what it means to be an immigrant," Judd-Murray said.

Each kid held an American flag during the ceremony, and learned about the responsibility of citizenship from Representative Mia Love. Love's parents immigrated to the U.S. from Haiti.

"I need you to be a beacon of hope, hold that flag and say, 'I'm a representative of America,'" Love said to the group.

Along with the pep talk, the group also sang the National Anthem, recited the Pledge of Allegiance, and took the Oath of Allegiance.

Each child received a citizenship certificate.

"It feels really good," Murray said, of what it's like to now be an official U.S. citizen.

For such a diverse group of children, they now all share the same pride and honor.

"I know that I belong here," Murray said.

Ceuto said it's a big opportunity that not everyone is lucky enough to get like.

"I was really happy," Ceuto said. "I was proud to myself to be an American."