HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Eleven people from seven different countries gathered in Hattiesburg Thursday to take their final steps to become U.S. citizens.
A naturalization ceremony was held at the William M. Colmer Federal Building.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael T. Parker presided and administered the Oath of Allegiance.
A choir from William Carey University sang "America the Beautiful" and "My Country 'Tis of Thee."
Members of the Daughters of the American Revolution also greeted the new citizens, who were from Jamaica, Mexico, India, Taiwan, The Philippines, Guatemala and Vietnam.
"My heart's (beating) faster, I mean boom, boom, boom, right now, it's too exciting, very, very exciting," said Jennie Wu, who was born in Taiwan. She's lived in the Pine Belt for many years.
"I finally go ahead and decided I want to be a citizen, very happy, happy," she said.
"Typically, when people come to court, they're arguing about something, (but) not in a naturalization proceeding," said Parker. "People are here to celebrate and acknowledge the best in people."
About a half dozen naturalization ceremonies are held each year in the U.S. District Court's Southern District of Mississippi.