New citizen Melissa Dora Sensmeier, formerly of Peru, is joined by her son Samuel, 2, after the naturalization ceremony that was held downtown yesterday at the U.S. District Court.
Two-year-old Samuel Sensmeier bounced in his grandfather's arms, pointing and trying to comment as well as he could at the distractions.
Because he was a bit too noisy for the courtroom, his grandfather carried him outside the double doors to wait out the speeches and the National Anthem. But he was rushed back in to see his mother, Melissa Dora Sensmeier, receive her certificate and become a bona fide United States citizen.
Thirty-seven new citizens took their oaths at the U.S. District Court in Toledo yesterday "freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion." Toledo Councilman George Sarantou spoke at the ceremony.
He recalled how his parents immigrated to the United States from Greece and were naturalized, and how he landed his dream job as a clerk for the speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives merely by approaching the speaker and asking him how eventually he could achieve that goal.
"Never hesitate to seek advice and help," he said. "People want you to succeed."
U.S. Magistrate Vernelis Armstrong encouraged the new citizens to exercise their rights and civic duties but never to forget their roots.
"Become involved, but don't give up your own ethnic heritage," she said.
Originally from the east coast of India, father, mother, and son of the Sundersingh family have been permanent residents in the United States for nine years but gained citizenship just yesterday. "It's such a wonderful, beautiful country ... and such a diverse country, like the whole world is in America," Shiela Grace Sundersingh gushed.
Her son, Samuel Yohann Sundersingh, was happy that he can get a passport more easily now to travel, but he was most excited about exercising his right to one of the most important civic duties that the magistrate enumerated: the vote.
Those naturalized and their countries of origin were:
Colombia - Maria Del Socorro Porras De Gonzalez and Olga Lucia Valencia Arango.
Denmark - Inga Reynolds.
India - Ameetkumar Sumantrai Patel, Dayarambhai Hirabhai Patel, Jayantilal Bhikhabhai Patel, Bharat Satish Rajghatta, Sonal Vipul Shah, Vipul Bhupatrai Shah, Daniel Yian Sundersingh, Samuel Yohann Sundersingh, Sebastian David Sundersingh, and Shiela Grace Sundersingh.
Iran - Ahmad Vaez.
Israel - Roy Katalan.
Jordan - Mohammed Taher Qaimari.
Laos - Thavy Vongsavang.
Lebanon - Aicha Mohamad Ali Bnarakat.
Mexico - Luiz Alberto Gutierrez Sierra, Jose Mario Monjaraz Rangel, and Patricia Ortiz Calderon.
Netherlands - Vivian Cherie Pfaff.
Pakistan - Muhammad Ibrahim Ali Khan.
People's Republic of China - Rachel Rui Wang Cashen, Joan Zhihui Hohl, and Jin Yang.
Peru - Melissa Dora Sensmeier.
Philippines - Josefina Agliam Joven and Albert Perfecto L Suniga.
South Korea - Jung Sook Ko.
Syria - Anas Massri.
Taiwan - Hao-Cheng Chien.
Ukraine - Victoria Olexandrovna Francis.
United Kingdom - Timothy Steven Cawood, Charles McVeagh, and Jeremy Blyth Sneath.
Vietnam - Tomie Thanh Nguyen.