Westfield community gathers for Puerto Rican Flag raising

Local News

WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Puerto Rican flag flies side by side with the stars and stripes at Westfield City Hall.

The Westfield Spanish-American Association began raising the Puerto Rican flag over Westfield City Hall 26 years ago. The president of the organization, Agma Maria Parrilla Sweeney set goals for the coming year, including the documenting of the history of Puerto Ricans in Westfield.

The large gathering honored the Santiago family, Ismael and Carmen Santiago for the Westfield restaurant they opened twenty years ago.

“I feel very happy, very honored, this day is very important to us,” Carmen Santiago said.

Springfield State Senator Adam Gomez was visibly touched by the recognition he received during this Westfield Puerto Rican flag raising program.

“For me to be acknowledged as the first Puerto Rican senator, since then I’ve tried to attend every single flag raising in the commonwealth, specific to our Puerto Rican roots,” Gomez said.

With a population of some 4,000, roughly 10 percent of Westfield’s population, this community strives to play a significant role in their city. Organizers of this flag raising hope to send a positive message about their commitment to Westfield.

“The Hispanic community in Westfield is a longstanding community that’s been here for many generations. We’re part of the community and we’re part of the fabric that makes Westfield,” Sweeney said.

Organizers hope that for next year’s flag-raising, they can return to their pre-pandemic tradition with a community celebration at the Westfield YMCA only steps from city hall.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Only on WWLP.com | Digital First

More Digital First

Trending Stories