Dozens of people became U.S. citizens in Hartford on Tuesday

Dozens of people became U.S. citizens in Hartford on Tuesday. (WFSB)

Tuesday was an emotional day for dozens of people in downtown Hartford, who became United States citizens on Election Day.

Once naturalized, they were able to vote in American for the first tie.

Some just came to the U.S. just five years ago, and at least one has been here since Dwight Eisenhower was president.

Following all the pomp and circumstance, people from 18 different countries took the oath of citizenship.

“I knew I wanted to become a citizen the first time I put a foot in the United States,” Maria Fernandez-Gomez, who came from the Dominican Republic said.

They all had different reasons for coming to the United States.

“The opportunity for a great education for my kids for myself to get a job,” Vildana Holdiz, who came from Bosnia, said.

Elena Alexander-Smith came from Russia, wore red white and blue to the ceremony and explained why she has an English surname.

“It is something as a grownup I make a decision to become citizen and change name to more American spelling,” Alexander-Smith said.

The process can take a while.

“It takes about five years before you can apply and my anniversary in February, it came and now I am an American citizen,” Fernandez-Gomez said.

For Army Veteran Dennis Boucher, his road to citizenship has been a long one. Boucher moved to the United States from Canada in the 1950s and served in the military in the 1960s.

“When you're young, you don't think about it and now that I’m older, I figured it’s time,” Boucher said.

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