Originally posted on Fox Sports South  |  By Cory McCartney  |  Last updated 7/2/14
ATLANTA -- Dominique Bakilane is a soccer fan, and he admits his baseball knowledge is largely limited to the exploits of Jackie Robinson. But he was among the first to arrive at 5:30 a.m. to wait to get into Turner Field, both to beat the Atlanta traffic, and to fulfill another part of his American dream. Wednesday, the Senegal native and Power Springs, Ga., native, stood along with 1,094 candidates from 81 different countries to take the oath to become United States citizens -- and they did it against the background of the nation's pastime from the stands of the home of the Braves. "It's a dream come true," said Bakilane, who had an American flag sitting in the breast pocket of his dark blue suit. "I've been waiting. When you come here, it's not easy. ... I'm really proud." Digital versions of the stars and stripes appeared on screens throughout the stadium, while a makeshift podium had been placed atop the home dugout and the Color Guard stood at attendance at field level. Meanwhile, the Braves drumline, the Heavy Hitters, played, candidates shook foam red tomahawks and a few, including a man from Bosnia and Herzegovina, wore Atlanta hats. "What's more American than baseball?" asked Kathy Redman, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Southeast Regional Director, who administered the oath. Braves president John Schuerholz, offered the opening remarks, discussing his own family's immigration and what brought each and every candidate to the cusp of becoming Americans. "I commend you and your ancestors -- your parents and your grandparents -- for the work they did, the dedication they made, the sacrifices they and you have made to put yourselves here in this place today," he said. As the countries of origin were announced -- from Argentina to Yugoslavia -- the candidates rose, awaiting the final step in the process. At the direction of Redman they raised their right hands, repeating the following: "I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God." Bakilane broke into a wide smile as they finished, clapping. He pulled an American flag from his breast pocket and waved it above his head. He had arrived in America in 2005, initially settling in New Jersey before moving to Atlanta in '12. It has all been with a single purpose: "I just came to fulfill my American dream, to buy a house and have everything," he said.
PLAYERS: Jackie Robinson
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: Florida's Chiozza sends Wisconsin home on incredible buzzer-beater

LaVar Ball gets Crying Jordan, meme treatment after UCLA loss

Celtics upset Suns tried to pad Devin Booker’s stats

Five teams that may be interested in Blake Griffin this summer

Report: Tony Romo ‘believes it’s Texans or retirement’

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Clay Matthews Sr. passes away at 88

WWE’s Kane is inching toward running for mayor in Tennessee

Jung Ho Kang denied visa for DUI, may miss 2017 MLB season

Jets not ready to say Josh McCown will be starter

Sens owner on Sidney Crosby: He’s 'a whiner' and should be suspended for Methot slash

Report: Griffin could be growing more open to leaving Clippers

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Box Score 3/24: Waiting on West Virginia

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

With Team USA's victory, World Baseball Classic (finally) lived up to its potential

The NFL distraction playbook

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Lingering issues for each 2016 MLB postseason team

Box Score 3/23: Team USA wins their first WBC title

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

The NFL distraction playbook

With Team USA's victory the WBC (finally) lived up to its potential

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Steph Curry pushes OKC's buttons

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker