For many of us, we were called Americans the moment we were born into this country.
Allieu Kamara never had that opportunity. For eight years, he's dreamed of calling himself an American citizen, having left his country when he was just a child.
"I came from West Africa, Sierra Leone," said Kamara, "My parents first moved here and then they filed for me, brought me here."
Kamara, and many others in the crowd that packed the State Fair Park, finally earned their place in the United States.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services hosted the event, recognizing 188 people from dozens of countries as Americans.
Vicky Skillman has waited years for this moment, living in the U.S. as a resident from Canada.
"for the first time in 30 years, I get to celebrate the 4rth of July as a U.S. citizen with my husband Scott," said Skillman, "It's a great day."
For many, it's a culmination of hard work, dedication and persistence.
For Allieu Kamara, it's simply a dream come true.
"I'm going to be a citizen of the United States," said Kamara, "It means a lot, there's really no words to express how happy I am right now."
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