• 85 people become American citizens in central Florida


    ORLANDO, Fla. - In central Florida, 85 people in Orlando took the Oath of Allegiance and are officially United States Citizens Thursday afternoon.

    The event was part of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services' annual celebration of Constitution Day and Citizenship Day. Those days are commemorated every September in honor of the signing of the U.S. Constitution in 1787.

    One of those people is Russian-born Dr. Dmitry Kolpashchikov.

    The University of Central Florida chemistry professor has earned international acclaim and attracted more than a million dollars in funding for his department but he said this is his biggest moment.

    "It's an overwhelming feeling of being a part of this country, this great country," said Kolpashchikov.

    Thirty-four countries were represented at the ceremony.

    Ony Nicholas of Haiti thanked the American people.

    "It's a pleasure and it's an honor and it's an honor and it's the best day of my life," Nicholas said.

    It's a long process. Along with personal interviews under oath, they have to demonstrate understanding of the English language and U.S. history.

    "It's very exciting, quite a lot to get done and exciting and I'm glad I went through the effort to do it," said Chad Doher of Ontario.

    "It's been a priority. Always wanted to be a part of this great country," said Lyudmila Martinov of Estonia.

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