PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — It was a warm welcome for 95 new United States Citizens Friday afternoon.

The 95 newly naturalized citizens took the oath of allegiance at the Peoria Riverfront Museum as part of a naturalization ceremony. The citizenship candidates originate from 31 nations.

“Every one of you, every one of us has a story to tell from two different countries with a story of hope, with a story of anxiousness, a story of worry, a story of excitement,” said U.S. District Court Judge, James Shadid.

A story that Gricelda Lopez from Mexico will get to share.

“It’s very emotional, it’s been a long journey, but finally we made it,” Lopez said with tears of joy.

It was a three-year process for Lopez to become a citizen.

“I met my husband and start a family, so we wanted to do everything right, looking for better opportunities, and we have three kids,” said Lopez. “Now I can raise my voice to vote and say yes I agree or say no I am not, so that’s a big step.”

It’s the same story for Sunnie Le Duyen Ngo from Vietnam, she came to have a better life and support her family.

“Oh, it took about six years. I feel really happy, so excited,” said Le Duyen Ngo.