Ivan Pejovic came to the U.S. in 2007 from Montenegro where he experienced the ache of war.
"We were in danger, and I could see the fear in my parents' eyes," said Ivan, who was 16 at the time.
"We were just 15 to 20 kilometers away from a military base that was bombed heavily. It was really traumatic. We didn't know what to expect, where the bombs might land."
Last month Pejovic went to Oakland, Calif. to join 1,011 people from 104 countries to recite the oath and become a U.S. citizen.
On this Fourth of July, I'm grateful for the peace outside my door. On most days I'm too preoccupied to feel the luxury of peace, but on this day I plan to revel in it