One hundred forty-five people from more than 50 countries became U.S. citizens at a naturalization ceremony at the Utah State Capitol on March 28, 2016. The event, hosted by Rep. Norm Thurston, was the second to be held at the Capitol in recent memory. The Oath of Allegiance was administered by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services District Director Angela K. Barrows.
“I’m pleased to participate in this special day and host the ceremony in the People’s House” said Rep. Thurston. Having been part of these events with my own family members, I understand the sacrifices many have made in order to become part of the fabric of our society and I welcome them as equal partners in our community.”
Lt. Colonel Matthew Badell, Utah National Guard, spoke at the ceremony and encouraged the new citizens to embrace the values that the U.S. offers. Lt. Col. Badell started working for the Utah National Guard in intelligence and currently is an Army aviator, flying Apache and Blackhawk helicopters. He is fluent in Thai, Lao and Korean. His grandparents Joab Badell and Martha Azziz were Christian Assyrians who immigrated from Iran. His wife Rose is a Cambodian refugee and their three adopted children make up a beautiful diverse family with Mongolian, Cambodian, Filipino and American heritage.
“I would like to congratulate the newest citizens of our great country,” said Speaker Greg Hughes in a statement. “I commend you for your accomplishment and encourage you to be engaged throughout your city and state institutions and become thought-leaders among your spheres of influence.”