Becoming a citizen of the United States would be a milestone in any life. The milestone for about 40 new citizens was made doubly special Thursday by the attendance of former President Jimmy Carter.
The Jimmy Carter National Historic Site in Plains played host to the swearing in of the new citizens in order to save people who live in and work in middle or south Georgia a long and costly trip to Atlanta.
Fathma Carlisle of Warner Robins cried at times during the ceremony. "It's beyond words," she said, "It's been a long process, but it's worth every moment I've been through."
"I'm in heaven, I really am," she said.
After the ceremony, Carter asked that all the new citizens join him on the front steps of the Historic Site, which was at one time his high school, for a group photo.
For Filcon Dinglasan of Macon, the ceremony marked the end of eight years of dreaming that began in his native Philippines. "The dream is real now," he said.