INDIANAPOLIS – Constitution Day is celebrated every year on Sept. 17, to commemorate the date in 1787 that the founding fathers signed this governing document.
For 96 central Indiana residents, the day will hold even more significance as the day they became American citizens.
On Wednesday, friends and family packed the Indiana War Memorial auditorium to watch each immigrant swear allegiance to the U.S.
The newcomers represented 40 different nations, from England to China to Uganda, each of them bringing their own story of coming to America.
One such immigrant was Indiana University student Sam Reskala-Eguiarte.
“I feel amazing,” Reskala-Eguiarte said. “This is the best day of my life.”
Originally from Mexico, Reskala-Eguiarte came to the U.S. when he was three. His family then moved around North America to Canada and then back to Mexico before permanently settling down in the U.S. eight years ago.
“It was hard adapting at first, but I think really helped me out a lot later in life because I got to gain all these social skills meeting new people,” Reskala-Eguiarte said.
Reskala-Eguiarte was just one of the many smiling faces inside the memorial. Those smiles are part of the reason Judge Mark Dinsmore enjoys performing these ceremonies.
“It’s probably the favorite thing that I and most of my colleagues do,” Dinsmore said. “It’s the one day we’re presiding over a court session that everybody is happy at the end.”
Many of the new citizens registered to vote and applied for U.S. passports after Wednesday’s ceremony.
“It’s certainly a big day for the new citizens, but I think it’s a big day for the country as well,” Dinsmore said. “I think the country is made stronger by these new citizens.”
For Raskala-Eguiarte, Wednesday was just another step towards what he says is his American Dream – a career in finance and marketing.
“I want a career in which I can be not only financially stable but also happy,” Raskala-Eguiarte said. “I want to be able to provide not only for my family but for my parents who have put so much hard work and effort to make me the man I am today.”