New citizens sworn in at Mammoth Cave 

MAMMOTH CAVE, Ky.-After emerging from a dark, damp and cold cave, 37 people are now new citizens of the United States.

A portion of Mammoth Cave briefly became a courtroom today during a naturalization ceremony to swear in the new citizens.

The ceremony took place in a portion of the cave called the Methodist Church. In this historic location of the cave, the new citizens pledged their oath of allegiance to the United States.

“I’m proud to be a United States citizen. It was great to add in the ceremony in Mammoth Cave. It will be a memorable day for me and my family. I’m very happy,” said Efsida Rumpa from Bangladesh.

More than 20 nationalities were represented at the ceremony, many of the people with hopes and dreams of a better life for themselves and for their families.

“On this day we got our citizenship. I hope to give this certificate to my kids to be citizens too. We are so excited and so happy,” said Salam Fadil from Iraq.

The park’s superintendent made a point of addressing the growing anti-immigrant sentiments in the country now, while addressing the crowd at the ceremony.

“I think it’s important to reiterate to them that they are welcome. In Bowling Green where I live, one of the reasons that we moved there, is there’s such a diverse population in that area. That’s exactly what I want my family and my children to grow up in,” said Barclay Trimble, Mammoth Cave National Park superintendent.

Immigrants have an important role in society, he said.

“Everybody comes with different ideas, values and thoughts that make America better. So having that opportunity to talk about those and act on them is vitally important for our country,” Trimble said.

The Naturalization Oath of Allegiance includes commitment to bear arms on behalf of the United States and renouncing all allegiance to any foreign state.