Twelve Veterans from nine different countries were granted American citizenship at a ceremony hosted by "Fox & Friends" on Monday, with Trump administration official Ken Cuccinelli administering the naturalization oath live on air.
Cuccinelli, director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, praised the candidates for serving in the armed forces before they were granted citizenship and said their desire to live as Americans represents a sacred honor, reserved for those who exhibit true loyalty and devotion to the United States.
"Many of us take for granted what just happened here today because we were blessed to be born in this country," he said. "So thank you to 'Fox & Friends' for helping us share this experience.
"To our new citizens, on behalf of all the men and women of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, one of the greatest honors of my job is to be the first person to refer to you as 'my fellow Americans.'"
Cuccinelli called the newly minted Americans patriots, and said they now have the chance to create a life of infinite possibility.
"What an incredible act of patriotism for you to serve in our armed forces, even before becoming a U.S. citizen. Thank you for your service," he said. "We honor all of you today and throughout the year because you've supported and defended the freedoms we all cherish.
"Each of you here has a unique story and we know that your journey to this moment has not come without sacrifices for you and your families," Cuccinelli continued. "And we're honored to have been part of your journey to U.S. citizenship. Upon taking the oath of allegiance you've earned new rights, and accepted new responsibilities as citizens. As you continue to serve your country... and your communities -- the privilege of citizenship bestowed on you today offers new responsibilities and new possibilities."
President Trump also recorded a video message for the group and said there is no greater privilege and honor than to become an American citizen to share in the rich history and culture of the United States.
"There is no higher honor, there is no greater responsibility," Trump said. "You now share the obligation to teach our values to others, to help newcomers assimilate to our way of life and uplift America by living according to its highest ideals of self-governance and its highest standards. All Americans are your brothers and sisters and each of us must do our part to keep America safe, strong, and free.
"America is our home, we have no other," he continued. "You have pledged allegiance to America and when you give your love and loyalty to America, she returns her love and loyalty to you. We share one American heart and one American destiny. It is a destiny filled with love, opportunity, and hope. We celebrate this day. We welcome you into our national family. We applaud your devotion to America. And we embrace the wonderful future we will have together. Thank you, God bless you. And God bless America."