HELENA — This week, 24 new U.S. citizens celebrated their naturalization at a ceremony in Helena. One of them then marked the day by getting a firsthand look at the government in action.
Thursday at the Paul G. Hatfield Federal Courthouse, new citizens from 15 different countries were officially naturalized. After the ceremony, Johanna Magalsky visited the Montana State Capitol, where she was welcomed by Reps. Bob Phalen, R-Lindsay, and Jerry Schillinger, R-Circle – both of whom are family friends of her husband, Tom. Schillinger even gave her an introduction during the House floor session, where she drew a round of applause.
“I’m just very honored to be a citizen of the United States,” Magalsky said. “It’s touching to me how everyone is so excited about it.”
Magalsky came to Montana from Switzerland and now lives in Terry with her husband. She’s an artist who makes mixed-media pieces, and one of her most recent was a three-dimensional painting of the U.S. flag.
On Thursday, Magalsky wore a pin that read “Proud to Be an American,” and a sticker that said “I registered to vote today.” It was her first time at the Capitol, and she said it meant a lot to see her representatives at work.
“I just really feel home here now and adopted the United States and Montana as my new home, so I just wanted to be a citizen,” she said.