HONOLULU (August 10, 2016) — U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) on Wednesday welcomed 77 new American citizens from 26 countries during a naturalization ceremony at the Mission Memorial Auditorium on the grounds of Honolulu Hale. U.S. Chief Bankruptcy Judge for the District of Hawaii Robert Faris presided over the proceedings.
Addressing the new citizens shortly after they took their oath, Senator Hirono called on them to play an active role in shaping their new homeland.
“Unlike those who were born here and become citizens automatically, you chose to become a United States citizen. You came to this country leaving everything that was familiar to you, good or bad, behind to come to this country with the hope that you could create a better life for you, your loved ones, and your family,” Senator Hirono told attendees. “Tell your stories. Tell people where you come from, what you have gone through because that’s how we learn from each other. That’s how we learn to appreciate the diversity that is our country, the diversity that we celebrate in Hawaii.”
Applicants participating in today’s ceremony ranged from 18-year old Sharon Sui Yan So of Hong Kong to 76-year-old Ansuyaben Metha of India, and came from countries including the Philippines, Brazil, China, Mexico, Pakistan, South Korea and Switzerland.
Senator Hirono is the only immigrant serving in the U.S. Senate.