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Members of the Sikh community and Mayor Joshua Garcia pose with the proclamation.
Reminder Publishing photo by Trent Levakis

HOLYOKE – In recognition of Sikh Declaration of Independence Day, a gathering and flag raising was hosted at City Hall on April 2.

Opening the gathering was a prayer led by members of the Sikh community, including Planning Board member Gurninder Dhaliwal.

Sikhism is a religion and nationality originated in the Punjab region of India. It is the fifth largest independent ethnic religion in the world, with a few hundred thousand estimated in the U.S.

The ceremony included the reading of a proclamation signed by Holyoke Mayor Joshua Garcia who thanked members of the Sikh community for sharing the same values that makes Holyoke a strong community.

“I’d like to reminder people who we are as a city. Here in Holyoke, we are a very compassionate city and the result of what we have here today as we continue to work together and build, is the work of migrants and immigrants that have come here,” Garcia said. “To have this shared value around universal principles and truthful living, service to humanity, and devotion to God. I so much appreciate the Sikh community and every resident in our city making sure we come together as brothers and sisters and continue to promote these very principles and values.”

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