New Americans celebrate 4th of July in Nashville - WSMV Channel 4

New Americans celebrate 4th of July in Nashville

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Many new Americans are celebrating their first Fourth of July. (WSMV) Many new Americans are celebrating their first Fourth of July. (WSMV)
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

The Fourth of July has long been a day when foreigners swear their oath of allegiance to the United States to become citizens.

It’s an annual reminder that this country has been a nation of immigrants since its founding 241 years ago.

More than 80,000 people in Nashville were born outside of this country. Immigrants told Channel 4 they’re beyond thankful to live in the United States.

“I wish everybody a wonderful Independence Day,” Tobi Maier said. “Celebrate, and God bless America.”

Independence Day has a special meaning for Maier. The German-born Nashville resident is likely just months away from becoming a U.S. citizen, a decision he made after spending years as a local immigration attorney.

"When you intentionally seek out a country and decide to become part of that, to assimilate to that culture and become part of that, it’s a very conscious and emotional process, and I’m very much looking forward to that day,” he said.

From the foreign born to first-generation Americans, the Fourth of July is a reminder to everyone to be thankful to live in America.

“Today we’re celebrating Fourth of July by coming to the park and playing soccer with our family,” Nayah Hernandez said.

Hernandez was spending the holiday with relatives at a park in south Nashville.

“I think it’s the most important because it’s the birthday of the place that we’re living,” Hernandez said. “And it’s special, more special than the other holidays.”

Many immigrants said they are not taking their American citizenship for granted.

“Put out your flags and show your colors today. Appreciate the privilege to live in this wonderful country, because a lot of people in the world would live it, and we have a great privilege to be here,” Maier said.

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