DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES — Fifteen-year-old Mihran Houhannesyan raised his right hand, said a few words, and picked up his citizenship certificate moments later, getting a high-five and hug from his mother.
But there was a problem.
"I don't like the picture," Mihran said.
No matter, the Glendale resident was granted citizenship Thursday in a ceremony of more than 110 people representing 28 countries, organizers said.
"This is the paper," Mirhan's mother, Vardanush Houhannesyan, said. "You have to feel it in the heart."
The ceremony was for mostly children, who have different citizenship requirements than adults. Many obtained citizenship through their naturalized parents, while adopted children acquire their status from their citizen-parents.
Mirhan was born in Armenia, but Russian and Filipino Glendale residents were also among the newly minted citizens Thursday.
"This is now officially your country," President Obama said in a video message. "You have an opportunity to enrich this country through your contributions."