Celebrating Independence Day by Becoming American

Jul 4, 2018

There may be no better way to celebrate the Fourth of July, then by becoming an American citizen. About a hundred people, originally from 40 different countries, gathered in Richmond Wednesday to take the oath of citizenship.

The  naturalization ceremony was hosted by the Virginia Museum of History and Culture.

In his collared American-flag shirt Matthew Fox scampers around the edges of the ceremony, snapping photos on his cell phone. He’s here to support his wife. They met at his family’s cleaning company.

“With my two brothers and my dad. And my wife works with us,” Fox says. “It’s fun, that’s how I learned Spanish. That’s how I met my wife through her sisters. And that was history.”

Zaima Fox came to Virginia from Guatemala nine years ago. She’s been working towards her citizenship for six years.

“It’s a dream make true. You know? And for my parents too. Because I left them in Guatemala,” she says. “ It’s a dream."

Matthew Fox says it has taken years of paperwork and legal visits and he’s happy to have the worry behind him.

“And she’s finally now, she’s taken my last name. That was something we were going to wait until she became a citizen to do,” he adds.

In addition to sharing a name with her husband and their daughter, Zaima now also shares a nationality. American.


This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.