News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

March 15, 2013

Taking the Oath: U.S. welcomes its 55 newest citizens

TERRE HAUTE — As the oldest person to become a U.S. citizen Thursday during a naturalization ceremony, 72-year-old Ilya Tolpygin received a flag that had flown over the U.S. Capitol.

“This is a beautiful country. The best one in the world,” said Tolpygin, a native of Russia. He spoke after the ceremony with the help of his stepdaughter, Yelena Rashkin, who translated.

Tolpygin, who came to the United States in 1997, had a hard life in Russia, growing up as his homeland recovered from the devastation of World War II.

He’s grateful for the freedoms he enjoys here and is looking forward to exercising his right to vote. He also has a job here as a driver for a small company, Rashkin said.

“I love this country. I love the people,” said Tolpygin, who now lives in Carmel. “By God’s mercy and with his blessing, I have had a chance to live here.”

Tolpygin’s was just one of several touching stories from the naturalization ceremony, which took place Thursday afternoon in the former federal courtroom at Indiana State University’s Federal Hall.

Fifty-five people from 24 countries became U.S. citizens as Federal Magistrate Craig McKee presided. “You are the newest members of our great nation,” he told them.

He urged them to register to vote — and exercise their right to vote — and also emphasized the importance of jury duty, if they have that opportunity.

The former courtroom was packed, not only with those who became U.S. citizens, but also their families and friends.

Those who took the oath of citizenship came from such countries as Russia, Israel, Cuba, Philippines, Thailand, Jordan and Turkey. “It literally was a collection of people from all over the world. And they live here” in the southern two-thirds of Indiana, McKee said after the ceremony.

Before the event started, the 55 future U.S. citizens sat quietly, solemnly and hopefully in the imposing former courtroom. Before them, on the wall, was a mural depicting the signing of the Magna Carta.

The silence was broken only by a stroller moving back and forth, or by the rustling of papers.

“They are serious,” McKee said. “You see in their eyes a sense of  purpose, a sense of pride. And they will be our best citizens. They will vote.”

Some of them have lived in places where they don’t have an opportunity to vote, he said.

Thursday’s naturalization ceremony marked McKee’s third in Terre Haute; he’s also presided over a few in Indianapolis. It’s something he enjoys.

For those born in the United States and who are able to observe the ceremony, he hopes it rekindles a sense of both the opportunities and obligations of citizenship.

“I think it makes the natural-born citizens grateful and humble,” he said.

The youngest person to become a U.S. citizen Thursday, 21-year-old Srishti Laller, led the others in the Pledge of Allegiance.

After the ceremony, she talked about her new U.S. citizenship.

“It feels really awesome. It’s an outstanding feeling that you can’t describe. You’re finally a part of the United States,” she said. “There is so much to explore and more opportunities. You feel like you are part of America now.”

She came to this country from India in 2007 and joined family members already living here. “Finally we are together,” she said. She lives in Greenwood and is a college student, studying to be a nurse.

Also taking the oath of citizenship was Hila Karmazyn, 24, a native of Israel. “It feels great. It feels like a new beginning,” she said.

She came to the U.S. when she was 15; her father, a doctor, had a job opportunity here. Her dad and mom both are pursuing citizenship as well. Karmazyn, who is engaged, is studying interior design.

Thlaawr Bawihrin of Burma has been in the U.S. since 1996, when he came to Indianapolis to study at the Christian Theological Seminary. He is a pastor who ministers to the Chin community, also from Burma.

“I’ve been here a long time. Today, I feel it’s my real home,” he said, as his wife took pictures of him. “I’m very happy,” said his wife, Dawtzi.

 

Sue Loughlin can be reached at 812-231-4235 or sue.loughlin@tribstar.com.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local & Bistate
  • MET 072514 WWI 01MORAHN.jpg Postcards from the war front

    A native of France, Marie Decleir saw humanity at its worst as she experienced the death and destruction caused by World War I, which began 100 years ago today.

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • MET 072714 NASCAR STEIG.jpg Watching Gordon make history

    As race car drivers competed on the track on Sunday in Indianapolis, racing fans in Terre Haute gathered around television screens and watched history unfold during the “Crown Royal Presents, The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard.”

    July 27, 2014 3 Photos

  • STATE OF THE STATEHOUSE: Inept amid partisan fury

    Retired Congressman Lee Hamilton has warned of the perils of political ideology, calling the body where he spent 34 years “noxiously partisan.” Now, he worries the divide is downright dangerous.

    July 27, 2014

  • Restaurant Inspections: July 28, 2014

    July 7-11

    July 27, 2014

  • MET 072514 I-70 CONE.jpg Caution zone

    Travel the interstate at your own risk.

    July 26, 2014 5 Photos

  • Earl Elliott report1 copy.jpg Report: City‘s general fund to remain in red

    The city’s general fund balance on June 30 remained deep in the red, even after Terre Haute received its twice-yearly property tax check from the state.

    July 26, 2014 6 Photos

  • MET 072314 INTERN 01MILLER.jpg Interns, getting foot in the door, bring diversity to workplace

    Shanya Tompkins interviewed with Coldwell Banker-Troy Helman Realtors, anticipating an eight-week, part-time summer internship.

    July 26, 2014 5 Photos

  • MET072514dance porter.jpg Everybody get up and dance now

    National Dance Day promotes dancing as part of a healthy, active lifestyle.

    July 26, 2014 4 Photos

  • Pendergast.jpg Man arrested after rollover kills teen girl

    A Terre Haute man has been arrested and a teenager has died following an alcohol-related accident early today.

    July 26, 2014 2 Photos

  • MET072514 invenadamson step.jpg ‘Minds-on camp’

    Sylvia Ann Adamson longed for privacy, so she invented a solution to that problem at “Camp Invention.”

    July 25, 2014 5 Photos

  • Linda Tincher.jpg Riley lion’s roar goes global

    Linda L. Tincher has become the first woman from Indiana elected to serve as an international director for Lions Clubs International. She was chosen earlier this month during the clubs’ 97th international convention in Toronto, Canada.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • MET072514 SPPRAK glasses.jpg Kindness ‘undercover’

    Hundreds of people gathered at Bob Warn Field at Sycamore Stadium on Friday for a night of baseball, music, the “Green Man” and green shades.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • Residents ‘stuff the bus’ with pencils, notebooks, backpacks

    After exiting a Wal-Mart store in Clinton, Roger E. Richardson stopped his shopping cart Friday in front of a large yellow South Vermillion School Corporation bus.

    July 25, 2014

  • Man faces 9 charges in homicide case

    A Solsberry man faces nine criminal charges related to a July 18 homicide and rape in rural Greene County.

    July 25, 2014 1 Story

  • maroon truck.jpg UPDATE: Rockville man dies after head-on collision

    A Rockville man has died from injuries he sustained this afternoon in a two-vehicle, head-on crash on U.S. 41 north of Lyford.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • red truck.jpg Head-on crash leaves Rockville man seriously injured

    A Rockville man was air-lifted to an Indianapolis hospital with serious injuries this afternoon following a two-vehicle crash on U.S. 41 north of Lyford.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • Vigo County Jail Log: July 25, 2014

    The following individuals were booked into the Vigo County Jail by area law enforcement on Thursday and Friday, based on jail records.

    July 25, 2014

  • Measles case confirmed in Central Indiana

    INDIANAPOLIS — State health officials have confirmed a case of measles in Central Indiana. The Indiana State Department of Health is working with local health departments and health care providers to identify additional cases of measles, and to prevent further transmission of the disease.

    July 25, 2014

  • Fast food workers prepare to escalate wage demands

    CHICAGO (AP) — Fast food workers say they’re prepared to escalate their campaign for higher wages and union representation, starting with a national convention in suburban Chicago where more than 1,000 workers will discuss the future of the effort that has spread to dozens of cities in less than two years.

    July 25, 2014

  • 4 doctors arrested after Indiana clinic raids

    CARMEL, Ind. (AP) — Authorities say four doctors have been arrested on charges of improperly prescribing a drug used to treat painkiller addiction from several Indiana offices.

    July 25, 2014

  • holiday world thunderbird.jpg Holiday World plans new winged roller coaster

    SANTA CLAUS, Ind. (AP) — The Holiday World amusement park in southern Indiana is building a new $22 million roller coaster that it says will launch riders to 60 miles an hour in 3.5 seconds, with a 14-story loop and four inversions.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Indianapolis pulls future support for Amtrak line

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — City officials in Indianapolis have cast the future of an Amtrak passenger line between Indianapolis and Chicago into doubt after deciding not to provide any additional money to subsidize that line.

    July 25, 2014

  • Pence leading annual governor’s motorcycle ride

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Gov. Mike Pence is leading the annual governor’s motorcycle ride from the Statehouse through southern Indiana.

    July 25, 2014

  • State asks judge to delay right-to-work ruling

    CROWN POINT, Ind. (AP) — The Indiana attorney general’s office has asked a judge to put on hold his order striking down the state’s right-to-work law.

    July 25, 2014

  • MET 072414 HOESS 01KOR.jpg Voices from Auschwitz: Ties that bind

    A message that has spread like wildfire across Europe can easily translate to America.

    July 24, 2014 4 Photos 1 Story

  • Minimum wage frozen after 5 years

    Thursday marked the fifth anniversary since the federal minimum wage was increased, a wage U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez contends should again be raised.

    July 24, 2014

  • MET072414 CANDLES shake.jpg ISU, CANDLES join to ‘illuminate the world’

    Indiana State University and CANDLES Holocaust Museum are joining forces to educate current and future generations about the Holocaust, genocide and related issues.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos 1 Story

  • MET072414 JA hadley.jpg 50 years later, still business as usual

    Junior Achievement of the Wabash Valley marked its 50th anniversary hosting a luau Thursday at the Ohio Building in Terre Haute.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Two semis collide; one driver injured

    A semi-trailer driver from North Carolina was airlifted to Methodist Hospital Thursday after his vehicle collided with another tractor-trailer on Interstate 70 in far western Vigo County.

    July 24, 2014

  • Valley talent returns for show tonight

    Local musical collective Lunes Domingo is scheduled to be back at The Verve tonight to perform the last installment of its 2014 series.

    July 24, 2014

Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Raw: Palestinians and Israeli Soldiers Clash 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma Raw: Violent Clashes Between Libyan Militias Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Video Shows Smiling American Bomber in Syria Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return
NDN Video
GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity