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Arnold Schwarzenegger Celebrates 40 Years of U.S. Citizenship: 'I Owe Everything to America'

"It is one of the proudest days of my life," the former California governor said in an Instagram post marking the milestone

<p> Justin Sullivan/Getty </p> Arnold Schwarzenegger is sworn in as governor of California in January 2007.

Justin Sullivan/Getty

Arnold Schwarzenegger is sworn in as governor of California in January 2007.

Arnold Schwarzenegger is proud to be American!

The actor celebrated his 40 years of U.S. citizenship by sharing a collection of photos from his journey from a young boy in Austria to becoming an American citizen in a post on his Instagram Saturday.

“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 76-year-old former governor of California wrote as he marked the milestone.

<p>Bill Nation/Sygma via Getty</p> Arnold Schwarzenegger became a U.S. citizen in 1983.

Bill Nation/Sygma via Getty

Arnold Schwarzenegger became a U.S. citizen in 1983.

The Terminator star’s post included photos documenting his life before and after he came to America, including snaps of him taking the oath of U.S. citizenship in 1983, wearing an American flag shirt and an Uncle Sam hat while holding two American flags, and posing in front of the iconic Hollywood sign.

He set the photo slideshow to audio from the speech he delivered at the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York City.

Related: Arnold Schwarzenegger Says James Cameron's 'Terminator' Films Predicted the Future: 'It Has Become a Reality'

“My fellow Americans, this 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,” Schwarzenegger said in the clip.

He continued: “In school when the teacher would talk about America, I would daydream about coming here. I would daydream about living here.”

<p>AP</p> Arnold Schwarzenegger displays his U.S. citizenship certificate.

AP

Arnold Schwarzenegger displays his U.S. citizenship certificate.

“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,” the seven-time Mr. Olympia bodybuilding champion said.

“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,” the Total Recall star said. “Everything about America seemed so big to me, so open, so possible,' he continued.

“To my fellow immigrants listening tonight, I want you to know how welcomed you are. We encourage your dreams. We believe in your future,” he added.

Related: Arnold Schwarzenegger Never Wanted to Say Famous 'I'll Be Back' Tagline: 'It Sounded Stupid'

Schwarzenegger was married to broadcast journalist Maria Shriver for 25 years before they divorced in 2021. They share four kids: daughters Katherine, 33, and Christina, 31, and sons Patrick, 29, and Christopher, 25.

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The action star recently opened up about the complications he experienced after undergoing his third open-heart surgery. In a video posted on YouTube on Sept. 5, he shared that he had a tough recovery following the procedure, which occurred just months before filming Terminator 6 in 2019. He called the situation a “disaster” and said he was able to get his health back by keeping a positive attitude.

<p>Michael Ochs Archives/Getty</p> Arnold Schwarzenegger celebrates his U.S. citizenship on Sept. 17, 1983.

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty

Arnold Schwarzenegger celebrates his U.S. citizenship on Sept. 17, 1983.

“The bottom line is, you cannot roll the clock back. It was a disaster. I was in the middle of a disaster. So now how do I get out of it? You have to shift gears,” he recalled. “Collect yourself, shift gears and say, ‘Okay what I need to do now is get out of this hospital.’”

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