EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — State and city leaders gathered Monday in East Providence for a celebration of Portuguese heritage.

June 10 is the official Day of Portugal and Mayor Bob DaSilva announced a proclamation making that same day the city’s official Day of Portugal as well. The country’s flag was also raised outside city hall.

“One of the fun things about being mayor is you get to celebrate different ethnicities throughout our community with these flag raisings,” DaSilva said. “These communities that we have throughout the state, especially here in East Providence, are made up of many different ethnicities, backgrounds, people coming together to make the community what it is.”

In Portugal, it’s officially called “Dia de Portugal, de Camões e das Comunidades Portuguesas,” which translates to “Day of Portugal, Camões, and the Portuguese Communities.”

The day was created to remember the death of poet Luís de Camões, who is recognized as the country’s greatest national icon.

DaSilva, who is of Portuguese descent himself, spoke about the importance of immigration.

“The story of the Portuguese people is the same story that you see of all immigrants that come to this country,” he said. “People come to this country to make a better life for themselves, for their children, their future. And the Portuguese people have benefitted from this country, but I believe this country has also benefitted greatly from the contributions of the Portuguese people.”

Gov. Dan McKee was among those in attendance, along with state Sens. Sandra Cano and Ana Quezada and state Rep. Katherine Kazarian.

“You are our small business owners, our municipal workers, our mayors, many elected officials of Portuguese descent here in East Providence that are very proud of their culture and their heritage that have taught me so much,” Kazarian said.