Twenty-six people received their US citizenship on Thursday on a date and place with significance in American history — the historic USS Constitution after a three-hour Fourth of July sail in Boston Harbor.
The citizens, from 18 countries, were sworn in at 3 p.m. under sunny skies, said Lieutenant Commander Paul Brawley, a Navy spokesman. About 500 people were aboard.
The ceremony, a formal court hearing before US District Judge William G. Young, included a performance of the national anthem, speeches, and an audio message from President Obama welcoming the new citizens, said US Citizenship and Immigration Services spokeswoman Paula Grenier.
Everyone on the ship was delighted to see the ceremony and welcome the 26 to official US citizen status, she said.
The Constitution fired a 21-gun salute as it passed by Castle Island, in honor of the nation.
Old Ironsides then headed toward the Boston Coast Guard station, where it fired a 17- gun salute in honor of the city of Boston, Brawley said.
“It’s a memorable experience,” he said. “People are having a wonderful time.”
The ship returned to its dock at the Charlestown Navy Yard and reopened to visitors at 6 p.m.Melissa Hanson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @Melissa__Hanson.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the timing of when 26 people received their citizenship. It also contained the incorrect title for US Citizenship and Immigration Services spokeswoman Paula Grenier.