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MAHONING COUNTY Dream of citizenship fulfilled



Published: Thu, February 24, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Judge welcomes 11 new citizens who took the oath.

YOUNGSTOWN -- Dennis O. Martinez and his brother, Jose Luis Martinez, were all smiles, satisfied they had accomplished their main goal -- to become United States citizens.

The Martinezes, from Honduras, joined nine others who took the oath of allegiance from Mahoning County Clerk of Courts Anthony Vivo at naturalization ceremonies Tuesday in the courtroom of Judge R. Scott Krichbaum of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.

Dennis Martinez, 25, of Austintown, is a teacher at Canfield High School, and some members of his sophomore Spanish class were in the courtroom to support him and take pictures.

"One of my goals was to become a teacher and teach my native language to others," he said. "It has always been my dream to someday become an American citizen."

Opportunities

Jose Martinez, 24, also of Austintown, said the United States is a country that provides a lot of opportunities for people to get a good education and get a good job. He said that was his dream.

"The principles put forth in the Declaration of Independence are still revolutionary in many parts of the world," Judge Krichbaum said.

He reminded the new citizens they now enjoy all the rights that come with being an American, including the right to vote, bear arms, and, of course, pay taxes.

"We welcome you to our family, and I salute you, my fellow Americans," Judge Krichbaum said.

Maureen Collins of EZ Street Productions provided musical entertainment for the ceremony, and a representative from the Daughters of the American Revolution presented miniature American flags to the new citizens.

Vivo said in addition to receiving their certificate of citizenship, the new Americans also received a congratulatory letter signed by President Bush.




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