FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) – The Mexican flag is now flying at City Hall as city leaders and community members celebrated the country’s Independence Day on Wednesday.
The morning started with remarks from city leaders followed by the flag-raising ceremony.
“It’s really a recognition and a celebration of our culture, the arts, the food, obviously the traditions. At City Hall, we want to send that message to our community. That yes we support you, we appreciate you,” Fresno City Council President Luis Chávez said.
City Council members, the Fresno Police chief, and the city mayor were all in attendance.
“Many rise before dawn to pick the fruits and vegetables that end up on our tables. Others tend to farms and ranches or work long hours in packing houses. Some are trailblazers within their families, the first to go to college, to earn a degree. Others are corporate executives, attorneys, doctors, innovators, and teachers. They are difference-makers in our community,” Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer said.
The celebration continued at Eaton Plaza.
“It’s really important to keep these traditions, especially the independence of Mexico, ‘El Grito de Independencia,’ pass that tradition, that culture on to our kids,” said Leonel Flores, a Fresno resident who said he’s been living in the city for 30 years.
This year, Chávez said they established the very first immigrant affairs office within the mayor’s department.
“We’re going to be opening that pretty soon. And you’re going to see those services being offered for the immigrant community,” he said.
Hispanic Heritage Month continues until Oct. 15.
“It’s a great, diverse city. And I think this is a big shift from where we were at maybe five, 10 years ago. But it’s a positive change. And I just want people to feel welcome, whether you’re Mexican, Salvadoran, Central American, Punjabi, Asian.”
Sept. 16 is officially Mexican Independence Day. Wednesday is the independence day for Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua.