A judge told the new citizens that actively participating in government is important.
YOUNGSTOWN -- The 11 people stood smiling with their right hands raised as Anthony Vivo, Mahoning County Clerk of Courts, administered the oath of allegiance to them -- their first official act as new American citizens.
Vivo said naturalization ceremonies are held monthly at the county courthouse, and the clerk's office has been having them since the 1960s when his father served as clerk of courts.
Judge James C. Evans told the new citizens that they should enjoy the new rights they now possess guaranteed by our Constitution and its Bill of Rights.
He quoted former President Theodore Roosevelt when he told them the first requisite of good citizens is "being willing and able to pull their weight."
American citizenship requires them to actively participate in their government, he said.
He said the three most important duties for them to perform as citizens are to vote, to serve on jury duty when asked and to pay their taxes.
"It is important for you to vote because that allows you to express your voice in our government," the judge said.
Jury duty allows them to help judges make decisions in the court, and paying taxes is what keeps government operating, he added.
"Remember that good government relies on good citizens," Judge Evans said.
Steve Darvanan, who oversees the clerk's office division of naturalization and passports, made the motion to accept the 11 as new citizens, and a representative of the Daughters of the American Revolution continued its long tradition of passing out miniature American flags to the citizens, who came from Colombia, Canada, Russia, Iran, India, Greece, Lebanon, Pakistan and Ukraine.