Moments after pledging their allegiance to the U.S. yesterday, the four members of the Kilpatrick family listened intently as U.S. District Court Judge David Katz asked the new citizens to bring their own customs and cultures along as they meld into American society.
It was advice the former Canadians planned to listen to.
David and Laurie Kilpatrick, and their children Kathryn, 24, and Kevin, 21, decided as a family to become U.S. citizens for all the opportunities their new country afforded them, including the right to vote. But at yesterday s celebratory party, the family planned to drink Canadian beer.
The Kilpatricks were among the 32 people from 18 different countries who became American citizens yesterday at a naturalization ceremony in U.S. District Court in Toledo. The family, who moved to Defiance in 1993, said they have long made Ohio and the U.S. their home. Now it s official.
We moved as a family, and now we ve become U.S. citizens as a family, said Kathryn, an Ohio State University graduate. It s something we ll always remember.
Kiyoko Rudolph, 65, of Genoa said yesterday that she has long felt like an American, ever since moving from her home in Okinawa, Japan, 43 years ago. But because she lacked naturalization papers, Mrs. Rudolph was never able to vote or get a passport.
Holding a small American flag and smiling broadly, Mrs. Rudolph posed for pictures yesterday that she plans to send to her children who couldn t attend. And then she was off to the post office with her husband, Andrew, to fill out a passport application.
Actually it was procrastination, admitted Mrs. Rudolph when asked why she decided after 43 years to become an American. It just started to make me sad that I could not vote and that my husband and kids had U.S. passports and I didn t.
For Fatme Izz El-Dine Faouzi, it was her desire to learn English that led her to wait about 10 years to take the citizenship test. The former Lebanese woman came to live in Findlay, where her son had come to live years before, and at age 64 and after taking the test twice she happily posed in front of the federal courthouse with friends yesterday, a new American citizen.
I love America, she said.
Those naturalized and their countries of origin were:
Bolivia Maria Brentlinger
Bulgaria Ivan Lyoubenov Raykov
Canada Frank Wilbert Leith Burns, David John Kilpatrick, Kathryn Anne Kilpatrick, Kevin James Kilpatrick, Laurie Anne Kilpatrick, and Courtney Dawn McLelland
Columbia Esther Maria Victoria Ponce De Leon
Germany Carla Wagner
India Gaurav Abrol, Gautam Abrol, Nutan Dixit, Jeniel Parmar, and Vithalbhai Vandravanbhai Patel
Iran Banafsheh Jolous Jamshidi
Iraq Hana Sami Fathi and Tariq Mahmoud Jalal
Jamaica Clifton Milner Montrose Daley and Louise Mercedez Daley
Japan Kiyoko O Rudolph
Korea Ok Soon Kim
Laos Bounyong Southam
Lebanon Darine Ali, Fatme Izz El-Dine Faouzi, and Ghada G. Howard
Nigeria Nancy Obiageli Onubogu and Samuel Emeka Onubogu
Palestine Safaa Mohamed Alshawa
Philippines Jocelyn Magbanua Molter
United Kingdom Adrian Wyn Fuller
Vietnam Hong Huong Hiep Nguyen