Nearly 800 Minnesotans to become U.S. citizens in ceremony Thursday

On Thursday, slightly fewer than 800 people will be welcomed as new U.S. Citizens during ceremonies in St. Paul at the River Centre.

It’s a big day for Mark Edmonds, and one that has been 10 years in the making.

"It’s a honor to become American. Not too many people get [the] opportunity," Edmonds explained. "It’s a very exciting thing, I’m honored, I’m genuinely excited to be becoming a citizen tomorrow at 10 o' clock, [I] can’t wait."

Mark is originally from England, and that’s where he met his wife Cora, a Minnesotan studying abroad at the time.

"I think one day she declared after we’d been dating for a few years that we’d be having the kids in America," Edmonds said. "And I said ‘Ooh were having kids, sure, [laughter].’"

The couple came to America 10 years ago, but Thursday will be Mark’s first day as a citizen in the country.

"The advantage of being a citizen gives me the vote, that’s important to me," Edmonds said. "And I could also serve on a jury, that would be interesting."

It’s an accomplishment that he can thank this entire family for making possible.

"I had to learn for the test so that was kind of fun, I did that with my kids," Edmonds said. "My 9-year-old was testing me on the questions, that was a kind of fun time, I think she can probably answer all of the questions too now."