MALDEN – One by one, each candidate eligible for citizenship stood up proudly as their country of birth was named.
Many of the 97 people from 34 countries waved American flags as they pledged the Oath of Allegiance and became American citizens.
Medford resident Hassan Mansaray, 56, smiled brightly as he thought about how long his journey to citizenship had been.
“In this country if you work hard enough you can reach your dreams,” he said.
It was the third naturalization ceremony in three years at the John and Christina Markey Malden Senior Community Center in downtown Malden. More than 40 new citizens registered to vote after the ceremony.
“Our diversity is our greatest strength,” Malden Mayor Gary Christenson said during the ceremony. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.