CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Smiling and clutching miniature American flags, dozens of people expressed their excitement for becoming United States citizens in Charleston Monday.
Mansoor Ahmad from Pakistan was one of the 53 people representing 32 different countries who took the oath of allegiance in Monday's naturalization ceremony. U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin presided over the ceremony.
"I'm so excited. I don't have the words to explain. It's great to be an American citizen," Ahmad said following the ceremony.
Ahmad said he ended up in Charleston after meeting his wife. He has his master's degree in law and has taken the California bar. Now, he hopes to become a lawyer in West Virginia.
So, what is Ahmad most excited about after becoming a citizen?
"It's the land of freedom," he answered. "If you have the skill set, you can use it . . . It's the land of opportunity."
In the ceremony, Frank Volk, U.S. District Judge John Copenhaver's senior law clerk, told new citizens it was their chance to become a "builder" of the country.
Volk told the audience as they go forth as citizens to continue to ask themselves how they would build onto America and how they want their legacies to be remembered.