HAPPY birthday Mr President.
Children, Wearside civic leaders and heritage chiefs gathered at Washington Old Hall to mark the 280th anniversary of the birth of George Washington.
The stars and stripes were raised at the ancestral home of the first US president’s family yesterday, as part of events marking the renewal of Sunderland’s Friendship Agreement with Washington DC.
Mayor of Sunderland Norma Wright said: “Sunderland first signed a Friendship Agreement with Washington DC in June 2006.
“We are delighted that today, on the anniversary of George Washington’s birth, the Friendship Agreement between our two cities is being renewed at an event at the British Embassy.”
Councillor Wright raised the flag with Ben Quarless, an exchange student from Washington DC, and Nick Dolan of the National Trust.
Children from five schools took part in the celebrations, which included a rendition of the American national anthem by Monkwearmouth School pupil Lauren Waine.
Pupils of Springwell Dene School, George Washington Primary School, John F Kennedy Primary School and Broadway Junior School also gave performances.
The celebration included a reading from the American Declaration of Independence by David Crone, chairman of Sunderland Youth Parliament
Sunderland Council leader Paul Watson said: “The Friendship Agreement between Washington DC and Sunderland has led to valuable economic and education links between the two cities.
“It hallmarks Sunderland’s consistent drive to create international partnerships which bring significant benefits to our city, and real rewards for both our communities.”