EAST ORANGE, NJ — September was Hispanic Heritage Month, so East Orange Mayor Ted Green and the East Orange City Council joined forces with Miryam Torres, president of Hispanics for Progress of Essex County, to host the annual Pan-American flag-raising ceremony on Friday, Sept. 28, from 5 to 8 p.m., outside City Hall.
According to Torres,this year’s event again featured a parade of flags with Lama Motorcycle Club and other attractions, including El Toro Loco, games and music. The ceremony took place as recent revelations show that Hurricane Maria caused more deaths in Puerto Rico in 2017 than previously acknowledged or reported.
“We are celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month and, today, we had the Pan-American flag-raising taking place in the city of East Orange. All the Latin countries celebrate together, because we are one. There are different nationalities but, at the end of the day, we are one, so that’s what we celebrate,” said Torres on Friday, Sept. 28. “I’d like to thank Mayor Ted Green for all of the support and the police department, and everyone that came out for being with us and always being present and covering our event. I would also like to thank my friends and my supporters Mirian Colinos, Cristina Rosa-Riche, Hector Torres and Segundo Montesdeoca. Thank you very much. Everything was nice, peaceful, enjoyable and just looking forward to next year.”
One member of the Lama Newark Motorcycle Club chapter thanked Torres and the other organizers for collaborating with his group to host the annual Pan-American flag-raising event.
“We were very proud to come here and support this wonderful event,” he said Friday, Sept. 28. “It was just wonderful seeing all the families and all the nationalities here, all together. This is the fourth year that we’ve done this together and it’s always a great event.”
Torres’ daughter, Sandra Mendez, echoed those sentiments.
“We were here in the city of East Orange, celebrating the fourth year of the Pan-American flag-raising,” said Mendez on Friday, Sept. 28. “Again, we thank Mayor Ted Green and his staff for their support and for always opening his doors to the community. I would like to say ‘Thank you,’ and we will be here again next year, with a bigger and better celebration than we had this year.”
Miriam Cortes and her daughter, Maia Tirado, 11, said they are also looking forward to next year’s Pan-American flag-raising event.
“ think this is great. It’s a great way to bring together your communities and a way for communities to express their culture so they can feel welcome and at home,” said Cortes on Friday, Sept. 28. We’re grateful that we have this in Jersey. We became residents of Jersey not long ago, so it’s great to see that the government here is also welcoming communities.”
Maia said she had a lot of fun at this year’s event and lookS forward to next year’s event, too.
“I had fun. I just enjoy the dancing. It feels like you’re moving with the wind,” said Maia on Friday, Sept. 28.