MANCHESTER, N.H. – Days before the United States celebrates its birthday, Manchester residents with ties to another national celebrating its birthday gathered continue what is becoming an annual tradition.
Organized by Victory Women of Vision Founder Mary Georges, several members of Manchester’s Congolese community were on hand in front of city hall to raise the flag of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, also known as the DRC.
Thursday marked the 62nd year of Congolese independence, with several speakers hoping that the holiday can mark a renewed effort for peace in the DRC and prosperity for the Congolese people both in America and back in Africa.
One of those speakers was David Kekumba. Born in 2004, his family escaped to the United States in the mid-1990s after war engulfed the DRC, then known as Zaire.
“After 28 years, it’s time for an upgrade (in the DRC),” said Kekumba. “Our parents escaped for us to have a better upbringing, and for that I’m thankful.”
Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig thanked the speakers for their zeal in hoping to make the DRC and the USA better places, especially in regard to the younger speakers during the event.
“They’re our future, the words they share are so impactful. The fact they want to get engaged and do more means the world to me, and I know all of us,” she said. “Thank you sharing your experiences and thank you for wanting to participate and make our community and other communities better, that’s exactly what we need.”