'This is the crowning glory moment': Naturalized citizens realize the American Dream in Philadelphia

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Friday, July 1, 2022
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All walks of life gathered at the Museum of the American Revolution where they took an oath for the country they now call home.

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- "This is the crowning glory moment right," said Mala Talekar. "Once me and my husband today become citizens, it's not only the culmination of our hard work, but for also my children, it means a better future."

Talekar, a doctor who is originally from a suburb of Mumbai, India, says the care for children with cancer was limited in her hometown. She and her husband, a radiologist, made the decision to advance their studies by moving to America.

"We redid our training here," said Talekar, "Became a pediatric oncologist and here I am developing better therapies for children with cancer."

She was one of the candidates who became naturalized United States Citizens at the Museum of the American Revolution today. The institution typically held multiple functions like this per year before the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, they are thrilled to bring back the second ceremony of the year.

"This is nearly 30 new citizens who will become Americans in the neighborhood where people from around the world came together 250 years ago," said Scott Stephenson, the museum's President and CEO. "And now they're part of that centuries-long quest to have a better future."

Another candidate was Kee Min, who was born in South Korea and immigrated to the states in 5th grade. Currently, he is studying law at Rutgers University.

"This country has given all of us so much," he said. "And I feel like part of us want to give it back and make this a little better place, each a little bit at a time."

The West Powelton Drummers provided a booming performance to celebrate the culmination of each citizen's journey.

The Museum of the American Revolution will continue hosting special activities to celebrate Independence Day throughout the weekend. To learn more, visit their website.

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