'I owe everything to America': Arnold Schwarzenegger celebrates 40 years of US citizenship

'I owe everything to America': Arnold Schwarzenegger celebrates 40 years of US citizenship
PHOTO: Instagram/Arnold Schwarzenegger

Arnold Schwarzenegger is celebrating 40 years since he became a US citizen.

The Hollywood action man grew up in Austria but moved to America in 1968 when he was 21 to pursue his dreams of becoming a champion bodybuilder and he swore his oath of allegiance to the US 20 years later when he was granted citizenship in 1983 — and he has remembered his big moment four decades later.

In a post on Instagram on Saturday (Sept 16), Arnold shared a video montage of his years in the US and wrote: "On this day 40 years ago, I became an American citizen. It is one of the proudest days of my life. I owe everything to America. Born in Austria, Made in America!"

The actor-turned-politician set the clip to audio of his 2004 speech at the Republican National Convention in New York City after becoming Governor of California a year earlier.


In the speech, he declared: "My fellow Americans, this is an amazing moment for me. To think a once-scrawny boy from Austria could grow up to become governor of the state of California, that is an immigrant's dream.

"In school when the teacher would talk about America, I would daydream about coming here. I would daydream about living here.

"As long as I live, I will never forget the day when I raised my hand for the oath of citizenship. You know how proud I was? I was so proud that I walked around with the American flag wrapped around my shoulder all day long.

"I finally arrived here in 1968. What a special day it was. I remembered I arrived here with empty pockets but full of dreams, full of determination and full of desire. Everything about America seemed so big to me, so open, so possible."

'The Terminator' star finished by declaring: "To my fellow immigrants listening tonight, I want you to know how welcomed you are. We encourage your dreams. We believe in your future."

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