LOWELL -- Almost 800 new citizens walked out of Lowell Auditorium with wide grins and miniature American flags Tuesday afternoon.

After saying the "oath of allegiance" and receiving their U.S. citizen certificates, 798 immigrants from across the state became naturalized citizens in Lowell on Tuesday.

"Our country is now more richer with you having taken the oath," Judge Robert Collings, who led the naturalization ceremony, told the hundreds of new citizens.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, out of the Lawrence Field Office, organized the naturalization proceedings.

Appox., 800 area people converge at the LMA to be sworn-in as US citizens, here very happy to become US citizens L-R, Deidy Brito, of Haverhill and from
Appox., 800 area people converge at the LMA to be sworn-in as US citizens, here very happy to become US citizens L-R, Deidy Brito, of Haverhill and from (Dominican Republic), Chamma Ek, of Lowell (Cambodia), and Bin Suon, of Lowell and from (Cambodia) . SUN/ David H. Brow (David H. Brow)

The 798 immigrants came from 108 municipalities, including Lowell, Billerica, Chelmsford, Dracut, Westford, Tyngsboro, Tewksbury, Wilmington, Groton and Littleton.

Ninety-four countries were represented at the ceremony, including Russia, Ukraine, Kenya, Chile, China, Vietnam and Barbados.

Sokun Som, 38, of Lowell, said he's looking forward to finally casting his first vote.

"I can have a say now," said Som, who was born in Cambodia. "I can vote who I want to become president of this country. That's exciting."

For more on this story, read Wednesday's edition of The Sun and watch www.lowellsun.com.

Follow Rick Sobey on Twitter and Tout @rsobeyLSun.