Charina Rosado raises the Dominican Republican flag to honor their Independence Day on Feb. 27.
Reminder Publishing photo by Tyler Garnet

CHICOPEE — On Feb. 27, Mayor John Vieau invited residents to join him to celebrate the anniversary of the Dominican Republic declaring their independence.

Vieau said, “As we raise the Dominican flag high above our city, we commemorate the Independence Day of the Dominican Republic. Feb. 27 marks a pivotal movement in their history, a testament to the resilience and courage of the Dominican people.

This is the first time this event has taken place in Chicopee.

“It’s a beautiful day in Chicopee and certainly a very special day for the Dominican Republican Americans of the city of Chicopee and of Western Massachusetts,” Vieau added.

The Dominican War of Independence began when the Dominican Republic declared independence from the Republic of Haiti on Feb. 27, 1844 and ended on Jan. 24, 1856.

“We recognize today as their independence day. Today is a day of firsts. We might not have a huge group of people here today, but this is something that I am sure will grow every year,” Vieau said.

State Sen. Adam Gomez (D-Springfield) said he was at the event to show his support and acknowledge how the Dominican culture and the Dominican community has thrived when it comes to business and culture in Western Massachusetts and specifically Chicopee for many years.

“I tried to elate and relate and tell my Dominican brothers and sisters that it is my privilege to represent them at the Massachusetts State Senate and also even though I am Puerto Rican, half of my family are Dominican that live in Washington Heights, and I grew up in the culture of the Dominican Republic,” he said.

Gomez added, “On this historic occasion of commemorating 180 years of Dominican independence, let us celebrate the resilience, the strength and the spirit of Dominican people. From the struggles of the past to the triumphs of the present. May we honor the sacrifices and achievements that have shaped the nation into what it is today.”

State Rep. Shirley Arriaga (D-Chicopee) was also at the event to show that Chicopee is inclusive of people from all backgrounds.

She said, “One of the things I like to say every time we raise this flag at City Hall is that, in Chicopee, we welcome and embrace all different backgrounds and cultures. We are taking the time to celebrate the independence of this great island with culture, great community, great food and it’s an awesome day.”

To raise the flag at City Hall, those interested either need a proclamation from the mayor’s office or resolution.

Vieau presented the proclamation to Charina Rosado who is a Dominican Republic American who works at Keyfood Marketplace.

Rosado said, “We are so glad to celebrate Independence Day for all Dominicans. We are so proud to be Dominican and are so proud to celebrate our independence in another country like the United States.”

Rosado also had the honor of raising the Dominican Republic flag at City Hall.

tgarnet@thereminder.com | + posts