The United States put on an adoption ceremony today at Mammoth Cave National Park.
In a courtroom made by nature, the U.S. adopted 39 new citizens. In the depths of a cave, a federal judge presided over the ceremony featuring natives of 22 countries around the world. Park Ranger David Alexander sang "The Star Spangled Banner," and Park Superintendent Sarah Craighead gave the country's newest citizens and official welcome.
"We are so pleased and honored to have you spend your first few minutes as citizens in a national park," remarked Craighead. "There's not a more perfect place to have that occur."
Elenodoros Hadjisavva proudly clutched his citizenship certificate. A native of Greece, he lives now in Henderson, Kentucky and shared today's experience with his wife Ellada, who became a naturalized citizen three years ago.
"We are free, I mean the opportunities," exclaimed Elenodoros. "The sky's the limit." "That's what's great about this country," said Ellada. "If you work hard, you can accomplish anything."
The couple owns a Greek restaurant in Evansville, IN. Mammoth Cave National Park hosted the ceremony through an agreement with the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service.