CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- As millions celebrate Independence Day across the United States, thousands of people will have something extra to celebrate.
Over at the Charlotte Museum of History, a naturalization ceremony took place Tuesday, as new U.S. citizens were announced one by one.
For dozens of people at the museum, this was Fourth of July the new citizens may never forget. It’s a moment that has been a long time coming. Managing the proper channels, passing tests and eligibility requirements -- all to become a citizen of the United States of America.
Flavio Bernardino and his family are from Brazil but have lived in the United States for several years but recently decided to become citizens.
“It was a big decision and a big transition for all of us,” Bernardino said. “It's a different culture, different everything. But we made the decision as a family and we went for it.”
Twenty-year-old Mariana Bernardino couldn't help but smile all morning.
“We love the United States and we're excited to be part of it,” she said, who is also from Brazil.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services these folks come from 16 different countries including Egypt, India and Russia.
“Our friends are here, our house is here, our home is here,” said Flavio Bernardino.
And this is just one of more than 60 ceremonies like this happening across the country today.