The Embassy of India in Washington, D.C., Aug. 15 celebrated India's 73rd Independence Day with a flag-hoisting ceremony at the Embassy Residence.

For the first time, the event was opened to the public which saw a tremendous turnout of more than 500 members of the Indian American community, the embassy said in a news release.

Harsh V. Shringla, ambassador of India, hoisted the tricolor followed by singing of the National Anthem.

Thereafter, Shringla read out the address of the president of India, Ram Nath Kovind, to the nation, and also addressed the gathering. This was followed by a brief cultural program involving rendition of patriotic songs by children of the Gandharva School of Music which was organized to mark the occasion, the release said.

In addition, as part of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, an exhibition on his life and messages was organized at the Mahatma Gandhi Park in front of the Chancery building.

The exhibition, organized in collaboration with the Gandhi Memorial Center, drew hundreds of visitors, including large scale participation from the Indian American community.

A well-known local band called Baraat Brass played popular patriotic songs, it said.

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