Governor welcomes new citizens |

Governor welcomes new citizens

Photos by Teri Vance / Nevada AppealAbove: New citizens pledge allegiance to the American flag for the first time during a ceremony Friday in the state Capitol.

Nearly 60 people celebrated the Nevada Day holiday by becoming U.S. citizens. “Let me be the first one, on behalf of the people of Nevada, to welcome you as the newest citizens of the United States of America,” said Gov. Brian Sandoval. “This is a very proud moment for me. I’m proud to see 58 new Americans gather here today in our state’s Capitol. Congratulations.”The 58 candidates, ranging in age from 18 to 85, were sworn in on Friday in the Old Assembly Chamber of the state Capitol. They represented 27 countries, including Bulgaria, Canada, China, Ivory Coast, Czech Republic, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Germany, Ghana, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Romania, Russia, South Korea, Thailand, Turkey, Vietnam and the Republic of Yugoslavia.In his keynote address, Sandoval said Nevada Day, commemorating the state’s admittance into the Union during the Civil War during Abraham Lincoln’s presidency, was a a fitting occasion for the ceremony. “Our entry into the Union in 1864 helped Lincoln fulfill the purpose of America when he freed the slaves,” Sandoval said. “Nevada helped ensure the future of what would become the greatest nation.“You are part of the American dream and the American promise that on these shores filled with opportunity, anybody, anybody can do anything.”Gabriella Adogla moved to Elko from the Republic of Ghana in West Africa in 2008 to work as a geologist for the mines. He was among those to receive his citizenship Friday.“It’s a milestone. It’s a dream come true,” he said. “I’ve always been looking forward to this day.”It puts him one step closer, he said, to being able to bring his wife to the U.S. to join him and his two sons.Mohmmad Saba immigrated from Iran when he was 7 years old. He is the first in his family to receive his citizenship. He’s looking forward to being able to vote. “I’ve been living the American experience most of my life,” he said. “Now, I get to live it to the fullest extent.”And, he said, he’s anticipating the day his parents and brother join him as American citizens. “They are in the process of going through it as well,” he said. Sandoval encouraged them all to keep a journal of their experiences, and to contribute to become a part of their communities and serve their country. “Many rights and privileges come with citizenship,” he said. “But so do responsibilities. The greatest responsibility of them all is to see the story through. “I look forward to seeing and hearing about each of your stories as they unfold.”