CHICAGO (CBS) — Despite a slight drizzle, a special naturalization ceremony in the Loop this afternoon bestowed American citizenship on people from 35 countries.

The ceremony coincided with U.S. Constitution and Citizenship Day.

The keynote speaker, Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, told the group: “When someone says to you that you cannot achieve, you tell them, ‘Watch me.’ ”

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Brand new citizen Sarah Ismail says she’s was inspired by White’s words.

“To bring my name up high, just like Jesse White right now, just like when he spoke,” she said.

citizenship ceremony sarah ismail Daley Plaza Ceremony Honors 98 New U.S. Citizens

Sarah Ismail of Iraq. (Credit: Steve Miller/WBBM Newsradio)

Ismail is 23, born in Baghdad, and she’s been in this country for 11 years. And she has an American dream.

“I want to work,” she said. “I want to study. I want to finish all my education. I want to be somebody in this country. I want to help this country to get bigger and bigger because this country is a great country, and I do want my name up there.”

Ninety-eight people became citizens in the special U-S Constitution and Citizenship Day ceremony.

Romana and Robert Labazevych, married 27 years, of Ukraine were filled with pride.

citizenship ceremony romana robert labazevych Daley Plaza Ceremony Honors 98 New U.S. Citizens

Romana and Robert Labazevych of Ukraine. (Credit: Steve Miller/WBBM Newsradio)

“You know what, our dream is to be more free and more independent,” Romana said. “And … many choices in life.”

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