The certificate U.S. District Judge Jack Zouhary handed to Ma Sylvia Arnino Adel yesterday had special meaning for both of them.
For Mrs. Adel, who moved from the Philippines in 1999 to join her husband, it was the paperwork she needed to confirm her citizenship in her new country. For the recently appointed federal judge, it was the first of many newly naturalized Americans he will welcome.
Seventy-three people were naturalized in two ceremonies held in U.S. District Court in Toledo. And while family and friends proudly took photos from the back of the courtroom, the new citizens stood and, for the first time, pledged their allegiance to the United States.
"Over 50 years ago, my father and later my mother placed their right hands on their hearts and said the Pledge of Allegiance," Judge Zouhary said to the first group of new citizens. "It's my honor to welcome you and call you my fellow Americans."
Regino Biana, 84, moved with his wife to Whitehouse to be closer to his son. Yesterday, five years after his arrival, he became a U.S. citizen. His wife, Julita, 75, is still waiting to learn when she may become one.
Mrs. Adel, 35, of Findlay, was accompanied by her husband, Aldo, and son, Albert, 5. The last of her family to become a naturalized American - two children and her husband were sworn in, Albert was born in California - she said it was a relief to be through the process. "It's been a long wait," she said, proudly holding her certificate.
The following, listed alphabetically by former country, took the oath of citizenship yesterday:
Bangladesh - Charles David and Enamul Karim.
Bosnia-Herzegovina - Esad Causevic.
Canada - Julie Yi Zysik, Doris Joseph Gilles Beaulieu, and Josee Marie Emma Yvonne Plante.
China - Dong Chen, Shaoxiong Chen, Zhu Lin Fields, Qiu Fang Li, and Fu Sun.
Costa Rica - Yerlyin Dilana Reno.
Egypt - Hesham Hassan El Gamal.
Germany - Karl Franz Jungmann, Veronika Jungmann, Waltraud Patrick, and Ilonka Rickenberg.
Ghana - Juliana Baidoo and Christine Obenewa Turkson.
Guyana - Vesta Paulette Robertson and James Eworth Robertson.
India - Varsha Anand Bhagwat, Srikanth Reddy Dasari, Ashvin George Felix, Neeraj Gonela, Anitha Rani Kosanam, and Zaheda Mohiuddin.
Iran - Hamidreza Jolousjamshidi.
Ireland - Derek William O'Loughlin.
Jamaica - Ruddy Roy Laidlaw and Vivian Percy Holgate.
Jordan - Mai Hammadi Ashman Al-Tartir, Nisrein Mustafa Al Maquableh, Hazem Mohammed Obeid, and Nahla Ibraheem Shafea Zarour.
Laos - Vilop Khoungong, Phoxay Michaleun, and Chintana Ann Souaysanga.
Lebanon - Manar Georges Salloum, Nabil Salman Zeineddine, Souad Georges Habbouche, and Jihad Semaan.
Mexico - Jorge Luis Gallardo, Jesus Lopez, and Berta Alicia Estrada.
Netherlands - Melina Joanna Smith.
Nicaragua - Julio Cesar Martinez.
Pakistan - Ahmed Zia Kiani and Huda Naeem.
Philippines - Ma Sylvia Arnino Adel, Regino Landa Biana, Junabel Alabastro Newmister, Rosalina Catayao Becker, and Augusto Del Rosario Torres.
Romania - Gica Petrescu and Cosmin Nicolae Tocaciu.
Russia - Gleb Alexandrovich Sidorkin and Alla Vladdmirovna Van Ness.
Sudan - Mohammed Nogud Margni.
Syria - Yasmin Rajjoub.
Taiwan - Chiu Hsia Yu.
Thailand - Lamphen Lata.
Ukraine - Aleksandr Nagorny, Sergey Aleksandrovich Nagorny, Yanina Nargorny, Yuriy Alexsandrovich Nagorny, and Valeria Grigoryevna Noble.
United Kingdom - Philip Anthony Clark and David Owen.
Vietnam - Nhut Van Dang, Chuong Van Le, Kim Lien Tran, and Minh Thu Thi Tran.
The following took the oath of citizenship March 31:
Austria - Monika Linda Cobb and Helga York.
Canada - Carly Erin Osadetz, Colleen Marie Osadetz, Gary Adam Osadetz, Heather Lynne Bell, Ibrahim Fuad Dabdoub, Elizabeth Alice Mitchell, Madhuben Sumantrai Patel, and Shawn Morley Swick.
Czech Republic - Petra Leonhardt.
Dominican Republic - Ramon Gomez Uribe.
Egypt - Khaled Elsaid Elkhawaga, Shehata Mohamed Mahmoud, Walid Mahmoud, Neamat Abdelmonem Omara, and Mohamed Abdel Hassan.
El Salvador - Silvia Morena Lassen and Marizol Paris-Homestead.
Germany - Erna Bauerle and Olga Tedrow.
Guyana - Daniah Davina Omianda Robertson and Kayvin Anthony Robertson.
Iceland - Asgerdur Stefania Michaud.
India - Mathew Correia, Shashi Lad, Hardev Singh Sroa, and Priya Mathew Jose.
Iran - Guity Kay Reeves.
Jamaica - Jerry Lancelot Laidlaw.
Japan - Minako Yamamoto.
Jordan - Amer Fawzi Alghazzawi, Adel Khalil Hammad, and Tahani Mazen Khdeer.
Laos - Loth Xaiyarath and Ka Chanthavong.
Lebanon - Abbas Youssef Rahal, Amine Mohamad Smaili, and Karimeh Al Khechen.
Mexico - Emma Ruby Arriola, Guadalupe Enriquez Bravo, Jose Contreras, Elva Virginia De Pena De Garza, Luis Alberto Delagado, Hector Zanzon Ornelas, Isaac Perez Gonzalez, and Fernando Vasquez Torres.
Nicaragua - Mildred Nejeily Pavon Lacayo and Jose Francisco Mayorga.
Nigeria - Samuel Opeyemi Olantran, Mabel Efionayi, and Benson Okungbowa.
Pakistan - Tufal Muhammad Khan and Abida Naeem.
Philippines - Amelita Militante David and Carmelita Consolacion Dutton.
Russia - Raisa Michaelovna Okazova.
Saudi Arabia - Abduljalil Ahmad Khuraidah.
Serbia and Montenegro - Ljiljana Macko.
Sri Lanka - Sivani Siva Pathmarajah.
Sweden - Inga Margaretha Palmer.
Syria - Mohamad Wissam Al-Baghdadi, George Jabra Kamoua, and Seba Abdulla Tohme.
Thailand - Lamphoun Lata, Karuna Kara Sookswat, and Sunanta Tiki Sulier.
Turkey - Necmettin Baylan.
Ukraine - Aneta Alexandra Golubitskaya.
United Kingdom - Pamela Hilda Omazta and Robert Lewis Allen, Sr.
Vietnam - Anne Hue Anh Luc, Tammy Thu Ho, Hong Thi Mai, Leyna Yuoc Mao, and Thuy Tran.