Arnold Schwarzenegger celebrates 40th anniversary of becoming American citizen

Then-Gov. Schwarzenegger in 2004 — David McNew/Getty Images

Arnold Schwarzenegger took to Instagram over the weekend to mark a meaningful milestone.

“On this day 40 years ago, I became an American citizen,” the Terminator icon wrote in the caption. “It is one of the proudest days of my life. I owe everything to America. Born in Austria, Made in America!”

Schwarzenegger’s post included photos from throughout his life prior to and after coming to America, including ones of him at his citizenship ceremony in 1983 and other patriotic snapshots.

The slideshow was set to audio of a speech he gave as the then-governor of California at the 2004 Republican National Convention.

“My fellow Americans, this is an amazing moment for me. To think that a once-scrawny boy from Austria could grow up to become governor of the state of California, that is an immigrant’s dream,” he says in the video.

“In school, when the teacher would talk about America, I would daydream about coming here. I would daydream about living here,” he continued. “As long as I live, I will never forget the date when I raised my right hand and I took the oath of citizenship. You know how proud I was? I was so proud that I walked around with the American flag around my shoulder all day long.”

“Everything about America seemed so big to me. So open, so possible,” the former bodybuilder said. “I finally arrived here in 1968. What a special day it was. I remember I arrived here with empty pockets, but full of dreams, full of determination, full of desire.”

Schwarzenegger concluded, “To my fellow immigrants listening tonight, I want you to know how welcome you are. We encourage your dreams. We believe in your future. Everything I have — my career, my success, my family — I owe to America.”

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