MARQUETTE — A naturalization ceremony was held at the United States District Court in Marquette.

Nine different people originally from seven different countries are now officially American citizens.

“This is really the best part of what we do,” said Supervisory Immigration Services Officer Nicholas Bartell, “we’re always ecstatic to help people become new citizens. Being somebody whose family is originally from the Upper Peninsula, this is particularly special for me. I’m just thrilled to be here.”

After the certificates were presented by U.S. District Judge Honorable R. Allan Edgar, Deputy Clerk Sandra Kivela, and DAR Regent Keitha Callanan the feelings that filled the room were nothing short of absolute joy.

“My wife is married to an American now,” said Sault Ste. Marie Resident John Frayne.

“It feels wonderful,” said Marquette Resident Natalie Apple, “It’s the end of a super long journey and I’m very thankful for my family and friends that entirely supported me throughout this way. It means a lot to me to finally be here and be a citizen of the United States.”

“This is a privilege,” said Lake Linden Resident Lorena Peters, “I’ve been waiting for a long time to become a citizen. Now the day is here and I am so happy. This is an honor to be an American citizen.”

“It feels wonderful,” said former U.K. resident James White, “I feel honored. It’s a great privilege. It’s a very emotional day.”

“It feels great, we’re finally here,” added John Frayne, “it was a long process, about five years. It’s finally over, we can finally move on with our lives and really start what we want to do.”

Two of the new citizens are a married couple.

“We are both overjoyed with the event of today,” added White, “and also for our children. They both became citizens recently we’re really doing a bit of a catch up.”

Some of the other new citizens are already married to Americans.

“It makes everything together, all whole,” said Sault Ste. Marie Resident Asia Frayne, “we can go vote at the same time, travel with the same documents, it’s great.”

All of the new citizens share an insurmountable level of excitement and are already planning out their future for their new country.

“I plan on being an active participant of the community, the country and get a voice out there to be heard,” added Apple.

Representatives for Senators Tom Casperson and Debbie Stabenow spoke, along with 109th Congressional District Representative John Kivela.

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