SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV)- Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh and representatives from Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon’s office proclaimed July 9th as World Refugee Day in the city and the county.

Members of the community gathered at Syracuse City Hall on Saturday to celebrate refugees and the challenges they have overcome.

They also recognized the contributions made to the community, like starting businesses and choosing to raise families in the area.

Hassina Adams spoke at the event, stressing the importance of the celebration. “It honors the tenacity, bravery, and heroism and those who have been forced to depart their native country due to conflict or persecution.” She adds, “it is an opportunity to foster empathy and compassion for the plight of refugees as well as honor the perseverance in reconstructing their lives.”

Interfaith Works of Central New York and community partners helped organize the celebration.