RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Monica Lopez was born in Peru and admits becoming a U.S. citizen has been quite the journey.
It's taken 12 years.
"It's a privilege to be here and become an American," said Lopez. "I feel proud. Proud of myself to get to this moment. I feel it's great to be here. It's the best country in the world. What can I say?"
Her husband has never been happier.
"Especially on today the Fourth of July. It makes everything so special. We've been kind of waiting for this for a long time going through the process of getting permanent residency and now citizenship," said Sam Lofaro.
Organizers of the naturalization ceremony called it a glorious Fourth of July celebration as 22 people became U.S. citizens in downtown Raleigh.
"Make your dreams come true."
Family and friends of the group attended the ceremony in support at the North Carolina State Capitol.
All of them took the oath of allegiance as they swore their loyalty to the United States.
"You can make your dreams come true. You have all the possibilities here and it depends just on how hard you want to work.," Lopez said.
As she heads home, she showed ABC11 what was in the packet she received.
"My certificate is in here. Something that's very important here is the American flag and I have the lyrics of the national anthem that I can follow now better," she said.
She admits this process has been hard work. That's why her husband is vowing to keep the celebration going.
"We're going to have some champagne I think. Pretty sure we're going to have champagne," her husband said.