(Minghui.org) Practitioners in the greater Philadelphia area held activities on Saturday, May 11, 2024, on Independence Square, a famous historic attraction, to celebrate the 32nd anniversary of Falun Dafa’s introduction, and to wish their founder Mr. Li Hongzhi a happy birthday. Philadelphia City Council member Mark Squilla read the Philadelphia City Council’s proclamation for Falun Dafa Day at the event.

Practitioners thanked the 24 Pennsylvania dignitaries who sent 21 congratulatory letters and certificates of appreciation to honor Falun Dafa Day and recognise Falun Dafa.

They included:
Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro
US Congressmen Glenn Thompson and Mike Kelly
6 Pennsylvania Senators
8 Pennsylvania Representatives
Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle Parker
Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey,
and others.

In addition, Brian Fitzpatrick, a member of Congress from Pennsylvania, raised the US flag at the Capitol Building in Washington DC, on May 13 to celebrate World Falun Dafa Day and the birthday of Mr. Li Hongzhi.

Practitioners did the exercises together at the event on May 11.
A practitioner sang “Thank You, Master.”
A ten-year-old Dafa practitioner sang “Lotus Flowers.”
Practitioners celebrate World Falun Dafa Day on Independence Square and wish their founder, Mr. Li Hongzhi, a happy birthday.

Falun Gong practitioners introduced Falun Gong to tourists and exposed the evil of the CCP’s persecution of the practice over the past 25 years. They did the exercises, shared their personal cultivation experiences, sang, folded lotus flowers, demonstrated Chinese calligraphy, distributed truth-clarifying materials, and collected signatures on a petition protesting the persecution. Tourists from different countries stopped to learn the facts, and some from China agreed to quit the CCP at the event.

People sign a petition to help end the persecution.
People are interested in learning about Falun Dafa.


Philadelphia City Councilors Present the City Council’s Proclamation

Philadelphia City Councilman Mark Squilla read the council’s proclamation for World Falun Dafa Day at the event. He said that he has supported Falun Gong since being elected as a city councilor 12 years ago, and that he initiated the proclamation. The proclamation commended Falun Dafa for the 32 years it has spread throughout the world and commended Mr. Li Hongzhi for introducing the practice, and thanking Falun Gong practitioners for everything they have done to improve the physical and mental health of the people in the community.

Councilman Squilla said, “It’s an honor to be here and it’s a pleasure to celebrate with all of you. I think the more we try to build peace of mind, to understand tolerance, and to look at society in a way that we can help people, the more I think it’s very important to be able to promote that peace and hopefully bring that peace back, not just to the people of Philadelphia, but to everyone across the country and around the world.”

He said that promoting Falun Dafa is of particular significance in today’s society. “You look at today’s society—we need more of these things in order to give people access to the peace of mind that we’re trying to promote,” he said. “When you have peace, you can bring peace to society. And now, violence, gun violence, and other things are happening, and I think we need [Falun Dafa] more than ever, and it’s really important to be able to promote it.”

Commenting on Mr. Li Hongzhi, Councilman Squilla said, “He gave not only Philadelphians, but the whole world the opportunity to be able to build that peace of mind and then to promote [Falun Dafa] not only in Philadelphia, but in Pennsylvania and throughout the country.” “I think it’s really important to be able to understand and help spread the word about what it means to have peace and spread it across the country and around the world.”

Philadelphia City Councilman Mark Squilla (right) presents the city council’s proclamation.

Councilman Squilla said he was deeply touched by the fact that although practitioners are still persecuted in China, they can freely practice in the United States, saying that freedom of religious belief is the cornerstone of the founding of the United States. “When we come here, when people come to the United States, religious freedom is a very powerful and important part of the country’s development. Therefore, we advocate that people be free, not only in religion, but also in their beliefs, to be able to own those beliefs and to live in a country that respects people with different beliefs and different ideas, promoting not only their religious existence, but also their spiritual existence.”

Council member Jim Harrity, who co-signed the Philadelphia City Council’s Falun Dafa Day proclamation, said he regretted not being able to attend the celebration. He wished everyone a happy Falun Dafa Day.

City Council member Jim Harrity, who co-signed the Philadelphia City Council’s Falun Dafa Day Citation, wished everyone a happy Falun Dafa Day.


New Practitioner is Grateful to Master

Anu Damodaran, the vice president of a Fortune 500 company, recently started practicing Falun Dafa. She talked about how Falun Dafa positively impacted her family and work in just a few months.

Ms. Damodaran said that she decided to practice Falun Gong after watching the movie “Once We Were Divine” with her family at the end of last year. She said it “awakened” her divine side. “I learned about this practice from my husband, who has been practicing it for almost ten years. Personally, I have also benefited a lot from it. Practicing reduced stress at work and in life, and improved my overall health.

“We both have full-time jobs, and it has always been a challenge to balance work and life, and there are often conflicts over disciplining the children and household chores,” Damodaran said. “With this spiritual practice, we are more compassionate with each other and are able to share responsibilities without much conflict. We also discuss the benefits of this practice with the children and encourage them to follow Falun Dafa’s principles. We are able to calmly discuss the impact of social media on children’s lives and help them understand how to move away from social media addiction. We study the Fa every day, learn lessons from our own shortcomings, constantly improve our character, and are good people.”

Damodaran also felt that cultivation helped reduce the pressure of her work. “My job responsibilities often involve long hours,” she said. “It’s a stressful environment, and it’s essential to deal with colleagues who are very sensitive and create conflict at work. When I started to practice Dafa diligently, I was able to apply the teachings to my daily work, and I was able to regulate the pressure at work.

“I feel lucky to have Dafa now and will strive to become a better person in my family and society. I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to Master Li Hongzhi for passing on this beautiful cultivation method to people all over the world. Remember: ‘Falun Dafa is good, and Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good.’”

Anu Damodaran says she benefited from practicing Falun Dafa.


Everyone Should Aspire to Have “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance”

Jack Emery, a retired physical therapist from northern California, was biking from Newark, New Jersey to Virginia Beach with friends when he noticed practitioners doing the exercises. He said that he was very interested in spiritual therapy and very much recognised the ideas advocated by Falun Dafa. He recognised the human body exhibition that the CCP did a few years ago and said, “This is part of the persecution, what the CCP has done to some of its own people. We should do everything we can to mitigate these inhumane acts. We should be kind to each other.”

Emery said, “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance are characteristics that we should have. These are what I call God-like qualities, qualities that each of us should aspire to have. Happy birthday to Master Li!”

Jack Emery, a retired physical therapist, advocates Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance.

Practitioners have been doing the exercises and clarifying the truth about the persecution of Falun Dafa almost every weekend on Independence Square for years. Philadelphia tour guide Clark DeLeon said that they “are passing on that freedom. I think it’s important to uphold Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. I think the way they’re introducing it here is a reflection of that. There’s freedom of speech, there’s freedom of belief, there’s freedom to let people know where they stand. Philadelphia has historically represented this.”

Philadelphia tour guide Clark DeLeon admires Falun Gong.
Jennifer Dyer, executive director of a New Jersey-based nonprofit, said, “I love Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. It makes me feel so happy, and it’s about inclusion and acceptance. It was very good and made me feel very happy inside.”