ALAMEDA, Calif. (KTVU) - One day before America celebrates the birth of our country, 76 people were sworn in as new United States citizens. The naturalization ceremony took place on board the USS Hornet in Alameda.
Everyone sworn in is a Bay Area resident, but came to the U.S. from 28 different countries. The process to become an American citizen is quite lengthy. You must have lived in the U.S. for at least five years, be able to speak, read and understand English, and have a knowledge of U.S. government and history.
"I'm so proud. I'm the luckiest person. I love U.S. It means liberty and all I aspired for in my life," said Surinder Grewal who is here from India.
"It's like winning the lottery. I feel fortunate to be here," said Jonathan Archer of England.
"I feel good about being here and I want to participate in democracy," said Xiaosong Huang from China.
Almost everyone we spoke to says they were very excited to exercise their right to vote. The ceremony ended with the oath of allegiance.
Even though many have been living in the United States for some time, a few say today they'll celebrate with either a traditional American hot dog or corn dog.