<< The Body Politic

From Marine to Citizen

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

In an inspiring display of patriotism, one decorated Marine became a U.S. citizen last week in a Special Naturalization Ceremony presided over by Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew. Lance Cpl. Nicolas Alvarado Lopez, a native of Ecuador, served in the Marines for two years prior to earning his citizenship.

Lopez’s service in the military made taking the oath even more profound on a personal level, he said. “I’ve seen what it feels like to fight for freedom and now I have an  opportunity to feel what it’s like to be a citizen. It’s a new step for me.”

Lopez was first motivated to become a Marine after the September 11 attacks, when he remembers watching the events of the day unfold on television at his high school in Queens, New York. Eric Morath, writing for the Wall Street Journal, explains the role that the attacks had on Lopez’s life.

That event, [Lopez] said, inspired him to become a Marine even though he wasn’t yet an American. He said the Marines have opened many opportunities to him, and he hopes being a citizen will open even more doors.

All across the country, scores of other naturalization ceremonies took place as part of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services’ celebration of Independence Day.

Think you have what it takes to pass a U.S. Citizenship test? Check out this list of sample questions, compiled by the USCIS.