EAST ORANGE, NJ — Honoring a rich culture, the Nigerian community was celebrated in East Orange recently.
Recognized by East Orange Mayor Ted Green, the City Council, and the Department of Recreation and Cultural Affairs, along with the National Association of Nigerian Nurses in North America, East Orange held a Nigerian flag–raising ceremony on Friday, Oct. 2, to celebrate 60 years of Nigerian independence.
Via Facebook Live, viewers were able to watch and celebrate with those who were in attendance to honor the deep-rooted culture of the West African nation.
“I am very honored to be here this evening to celebrate with all of you,” Green said at the event. “On behalf of not only the mayor’s office, but also East Orange City Council, I do want to acknowledge our chairman, Chris James, and the rest of the council members who are not here, because we all stand together.”
Green expressed his gratitude to all members of the East Orange community, who make the city what it is, as well as to Councilman Chris Awe.
“What makes him who he is each and every day are his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Awe,” Green said. “We have a city full of great people here. From professionals to lawyers to doctors to police officers to nurses. Just so many individuals who make up the fabric within the city. For all of you, today’s your day. Any day within the city of East Orange is your day, because we honor all of you.
“I thank all of you for being here today,” he continued. “I thank you for just giving me an opportunity to stand here and be here with all of you as you raise the flag for your country. Anything that we can do within the city of East Orange to help, to nurture, we will. In the city of East Orange, we are leading the charge that East Orange is one city, with one community. We have one goal, and that goal is progress. We thank all of you for being a part of that progress.”
Awe similarly expressed gratitude for the community’s support on behalf of himself and James, as well as gratitude for the many contributions Nigerians have made, not just in the world but directly in the East Orange community.
“As East Orange City Council, we acknowledge the impact that was made every day, and that’s what this ceremony is about,” Awe, whose family hails from Nigeria, said. “Nigerians are our teachers. They are our nurses, our doctors, our lawyers, our engineers, our officers, our entrepreneurs, our business owners, our restaurateurs, our contractors, and they are our clergy men and women, and so on and so forth. Again, we acknowledge the impact that we, as Nigerians, have made directly in this community.
“At everything we do, we breed excellence, and East Orange has been able to benefit from that,” he continued. “As Nigerians do well, East Orange will do well. As East Orange does well, Nigerians will do well. I thank my parents. We chose East Orange as our home for a reason: because of the potential that we saw here. For us to grow, prosper and to fulfill the dreams, not only of this country, but of our country back home. So many of us have chosen this place to fulfill that dream. And that’s not by mistake; that’s not by chance. It’s by choice.”