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6 new citizens take oath in Chambersburg

June 03, 1998|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Six people from five countries on two continents joined the melting pot of America on Tuesday night when they took the oath of United States citizenship during naturalization court ceremonies at the Franklin County Courthouse.

"The best thing about America is that so many different types of people are united. That's very amazing," said Durba Ray of Chambersburg. She came to the U.S. more than five years ago from Calcutta, India.

She said she met her husband, Rajat, in India, although he grew up in Boston.

Carmen Krawczak of Waynesboro, Pa., came to the United States in 1985 to get a master's degree at Western Michigan University. She returned to Mexico but later was hired by a Texas company that needed a bilingual behavioral consultant.

A month later she met her future husband.

"She was giving a seminar at the hotel I was staying at," said Gale Krawczak. He said she learned English in two months at Georgia Southern University before going on to Western Michigan.

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"It took a long time to get a residency card," Carmen Krawczak said "This is my family and this is where I belong," she said of her husband and daughters Alicia and Mariana beside her.

Paula Edge came to the United States from Jamaica 20 years ago to join the rest of her family.

"I love it. My kids were born here. My brothers were born here," the Waynesboro woman said of her adopted country.

Edge, Krawczak and Ray were joined by Padma B. Patel of India, Hai Nguyen of Vietnam and Sabrina L. Monn, a Korean, in becoming citizens.

"Surely there have been times is our history when the reality did not reflect the dream" of America, the Rev. Stephen Hoffman of St. John's United Church of Christ in Chambersburg told the new citizens.

"Ninety years ago my German grandfather had a dream about America, a dream about a land of streets paved with gold," Hoffman said.

While Hoffman's grandfather found no gold on the bustling streets of New York City, Hoffman said his grandfather did discover that "if you work hard and work well and live by the rules, you can succeed."

Hoffman told the new citizens to "dream the American dream" not only for themselves and their families, but also for their neighbors.

He pulled apart a strand of white yarn. He then took pieces of yarn of several colors, twisted them together so that they could not be parted.

"Every strand is needed to make the others strong," he said.

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