New citizens from across North Dakota celebrate naturalization

Published: Sep. 20, 2022 at 5:40 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - There was a large group of accomplished people leaving NDSU’s Barry hall but they weren’t college students. They were 140 husbands, wives, brothers and sisters from all over North Dakota that walked out of the building as new citizens of the United States.

It took place over two ceremonies, with the oath of allegiance, a message from the president, and the feeling of relief, as some had waited anywhere from 5 to 30 years.

“I’m very proud. I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time. It feels like I’m complete now,” said Anna Meidinger, whose originally from Sweden.

“I feel like freedom. It’s like lifting something from my chest. I did it, that’s all I feel right now,” said Panyapoll Detkharmronrat, who came from Thailand.

“This place already feels like home so I feel like I’m being adopted into my family. It’s great,” added Liya Krasivsky, who came from Ukraine when she was 5.

They weren’t alone in their celebration, as many of those being naturalized had their families along to support them.

Constantin Abayo, of Rwanda, said, “My kids are here, my wife, my sister are both with me today and we are going through a very wonderful experience right now.”

Clyde Meidinger, a Wishek native and Anna’s husband, said, “This day is huge for us just for her to become a citizen. Finally went through with the paperwork, this is a wonderful great day for us. It was really exciting to see all the other people here as well.”

The road ahead looks bright as the new citizens and their families celebrate a great day and an even greater outlook on their future as U.S. citizens.

“I’m very proud, I’m very happy and I hope I can serve the united states in a good manner,” stated Anna Meidinger

“This means so much I was limited through some of the opportunities but now it’s going to be different,” added Abayo.

“I love America,” exclaimed Detkhamronrat.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services say that North Dakota has welcomed 638 new citizens in the last 9 months.