July 4, 2013
Thousands of people came out to Thomas Jefferson's Monticello to celebrate the 51st Annual Independence Day Celebration and Naturalization Ceremony.
76 immigrants from 36 countries including Brazil, India, Iran and the United Kingdom came together to become citizens of the United States of America.
Charlottesville's own Dave Matthews from the Dave Matthew's Band gave the keynote address and talked about the difficulties of become a U.S. citizen.
Matthews was born in South Africa and became a citizen in 1980.
"It feels great, I'm so proud to become a citizen," says Rima Masters, a new citizen of the U.S. "I always felt that I was home, but this is a great day to celebrate."
Masters is from the Sudan and is excited to be reunited with family and feels like she is home here in the U.S.
"Home is where I belong, where I feel safe and free," says Masters."
For many the 4th of July is a day to celebrate our independence, but for these new citizens, it is a day to take their first steps as Americans.