Updated: 07/04/2014 4:52 PM
Created: 07/04/2014 12:34 PM WNYT.com
By: Mark Mulholland
SARATOGA SPRINGS - The Capital Region has 20 new American citizens on this Independence Day.
People from all over the world pledged their allegiance to the flag as they looked down upon the turning point of the American Revolution.
On the land where Colonial soldiers turned back the British in what's widely regarded as the turning point of the American Revolution, people celebrated a turning point in their own lives.
They come from all over -- places like China, Mexico and India.
However, they have a great deal in common -- their desire to have the liberties that come with being an American citizen.
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free,” said Senator Kathy Marchione.
It was a citizenship ceremony on the hallowed grounds of the Battles of Saratoga.
Toshara Masih of Pakistan became a citizen with her brother. She was thrilled to become an American on America's birthday.
“I'm feeling so excited, so special. Very proud,” he said.
“I'm proud to be part of America. It's a land of freedom and opportunity,” said Isaac Okyere-Addo.
Mikail Leggard smiled from ear-to-ear as his family applauded his new citizenship.
“That actually uplifted me a lot. I felt really important, like really good inside. I was like wow, that's for me, that's amazing,” he said.
In all there were 20 citizens and their families taking part here. Perhaps none more proud than Leggard's father -- who himself became a citizen just a few years ago.
“Oh my goodness, it was a pleasure for me. It was a thrill for me seeing him become a citizen on this very day, in this place. It's so amazing,” he said. “It's just a terrific feeling. It's a day I will never forget.”