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Years of dreams and hard work paid off for dozens of our country's newest citizens on Wednesday, as more than 160 people recited the oath to become US citizens.

Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett spoke to the crowd, and Knoxville opera singer Elaine Grahm sang the national anthem.

"Now I'm more happy because I'm American citizen," said Ismael Sanchez, from Cuba.

Rene Cruz-Solis was born in Mexico. "This country is a great country. It has given me everything that I have in life. Not only directly to me, but also relatives and family and friends.

The ceremony included people from across Tennessee who traveled to the US from dozens of different countries.