LOS ANGELES — Glendale resident Edgar Torosyan clutched a small American flag on Thursday as he waited to take the oath that would declare him a United States citizen.
"This is a dream come true," said Torosyan, a Glendale resident who was a teenager when he immigrated to the United States from Armenia with his family 18 years ago. "We love it here. We call it home."
Torosyan was one of the 3,340 Southern California residents who packed the Los Angeles Convention Center on Thursday to be sworn in as U.S. citizens. He sat with his brother's wife, Larisa Nazaryan, and their friend, Markarid Garapetian, who also became citizens.
"I've been joking the past couple of days: I'm taking three residents and bringing back three citizens," said Torosyan's brother, Andranik, who said the day brought back memories of his own naturalization ceremony in 2002.
U.S. District Court Judge Carla Woehrle administered the citizenship oath to the thousands in the crowd who hailed from more than 100 countries. Mexico, Iran, Armenia and Korea, were among the most represented, officials said.