SAN DIEGO — U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) welcomed America’s newest citizens during a special naturalization ceremony at the USS Midway Museum Monday.

Major General Mark R. Wise, Commanding General, Third Marine Aircraft Wing; U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa; Chief U.S. District Judge Barry Ted Moskowitz; and USCIS San Diego Field Office Director Melissa (Missy) Maxim were all in attendance.

The ceremony is part of USCIS’ annual Independence Day celebration. This year, USCIS celebrates the 241st anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, and the nation’s birthday by welcoming more than 15,000 new U.S. citizens during more than 65 Independence Day-themed naturalization ceremonies across the country.

The 55 citizenship candidates originate from the following 20 countries: American Samoa, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Iceland, Italy, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Mexico, Palau, Panama, Philippines, Russia and South Korea.