'So lucky': New Americans reflect on U.S. citizenship

On the Fourth of July, new Americans -- one from Denmark, one from Senegal -- reflect on their journeys to citizenship. http://kare11.tv/2tG9cRa

EDINA, Minn. - What would July 4th be without the flags and floats that celebrate our independence?

But not all patriotism is on parade.

“You really have to respect and understand that it is a blessing to live in such a great country,” said Joe Rodgers of Edina.

Some understand that more than others. Louise Tvedt knows it well after two years of paperwork and patience to get her green card.

Finally, just a few weeks ago, she was cleared to move to the United States from her native Denmark, joining her American husband and their two young kids.

“The whole thing was just super hard,” Tvedt said. “It was a big relief, and it was like we finally have this now after so much work. It was awesome.”

It’s awesome for other immigrants, too.

Mbagnick Ponj studied for months for the U.S. citizenship test when he moved to Minnesota from Senegal, and says there's nothing like the national pride of a new American.

“It’s giving me goosebumps,” Ponj said. “Experiencing the Fourth of July like an American feels great.”

About 15,000 people nationwide will become U.S. citizens Tuesday, and 97 percent pass the U.S. Citizenship test on the first try, many saying becoming an American was a lifelong dream.

“You shouldn't take anything for granted in this country,” said Eric Iberg, as he watched the Edina Independence Day parade. “You have opportunity and can wake up in the morning and do what you want.”

“You should feel so lucky,” Tvedt said.

TRY IT: Could you pass the U.S. Citizenship test?

© 2017 KARE-TV


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