Hempstead, U.S City on Tuesday honoured Nigeria by hoisting the nation’s flag in commemoration of its 59th Independence anniversary.
It followed the first one held on Oct. 1, 2018, at the same venue.
In attendance were members of the Nigerian community and officials of the Nigerian consulate in New York led by the Consul General (CG), Mr Benaoyagha Okoyen.
Joining them in the celebration were senior local officials, including the Mayor of the Incorporated Village of Hempstead, Mr Don Ryan, and the Senior Councilwoman, Dorothy Goosby, who anchored the ceremony.
Friends of Nigeria from other African countries and in the U.S. were also present to identify with the celebrants.
The day began with Goosby reading a brief profile of Nigeria, followed by traditional and Christian prayers for the country and its leaders.
Thereafter, a schoolboy of Nigerian descent, Master Joel Green, mounted the podium and led the gathering in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
His schoolmate, Miss Wealthy Morgan, took over with recitation of “Invictus”, a short Victorian poem in which the English poet, William Ernest Henly, tells how he never gave up in the face of adversity.
Morgan began by declaring that she “loves the colours that the Nigerian flag represents: white in the middle of green; purity in the middle of wealth”.
Addressing the gathering afterwards, Okoyen described Nigeria as “a beautiful black nation and the pride of Africa”.
According to him, Oct. 1 is a day Nigerians all over the “celebrate freedom and the beautiful traditions of our people”.
“Today, Nigerians all over the world proudly celebrate Oct. 1 as a day of political independence.
“A day we remember the founding fathers and all who led our dear country to political independence in 1960.
“Today, we celebrate freedom and the beautiful traditions of our people; we celebrate strength, dignity and our diversity as a nation,” the CG said.
He called on Nigeria’s friends, partners and the entire world to believe in the country, while also urging Nigerians to unite and keep faith with their fatherland.
“Diversity in Nigeria is a strength. We shall no longer be consumed by our differences as a nation,” he added.
Okoyen thanked the Hempstead city officials for the honour, and lauded Nigerians in the U.S, for their “exceptional display of professionalism and competence in various fields of human endeavors”. PM NEWS