Melinda Katz President Borough of Queens

Dear Friends: On behalf of the 2.3 million residents of the Borough of Queens, I would like to extend greetings to all the readers of The Indian Panorama and wish you all a very Happy American Independence Day! I am also very pleased that the editors of The Indian Panorama have chosen to publish this special issue in recognition of the 238th anniversary of the independence of the United States of America. When the founders of our country issued the Declaration of Independence, they did more than just establish a single new nation. They actually expressed universal principles about the equality of all people and about how all of us throughout the world have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Thanks to the wisdom and foresight of those founders, members of our multicultural American society enjoy equality under the law and the freedom to pursue their dreams and aspirations without fear of persecution. The millions of Americans who have connections to South Asia are among those who experience this equality and freedom. I therefore hope the members of our country’s South Asian community fully enjoy the wonderful celebrations that will mark Independence Day across our great country. I congratulate the editors of The Indian Panorama for producing this special issue and I thank them for allowing me to contribute this letter to their publication.

I would also like to invite all the readers of this fine newspaper to visit Queens, the most diverse county in the United States and the home of a thriving South Asian community. We call Queens “The World’s Borough” because our residents include immigrants from more than 100 countries and speakers of more than 160 languages.

But despite our cultural and linguistic differences, we all share in that desire for equality and liberty that our nation’s founders knew was universal. That’s what makes Queens uniquely American. Thanks again to the editors of The Indian Panorama for allowing me to contribute this letter. Happy Independence Day to you all!

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