Happy Independence Day, Dominican Republic!

Happy Independence Day, Dominican Republic!

Happy Independence Day to the Dominican Republic.

MORE: 5 Awesome Ways to Celebrate Dominican Independence Day

La República Dominicana was first seized by Spain in 1492, when Christopher Columbus arrived and settled in Santo Domingo, and later by France. However, Monday marks its 173rd anniversary of freedom from its last occupier, Haiti.

The Dominican Republic declared its independence from its neighboring country in 1844.

On this day, Dominicans on the island and in the diaspora often honor Juan Pablo Duarte, who organized the battle against Haiti, and founding fathering Matías Ramón Mella and Francisco del Rosario Sánchez.

Keeping up with tradition, Dominican president Danilo Medina delivered a speech to the nation before the National Assembly.

But cities across the U.S. are celebrating, too, with a Dominican flag rising and gala dinner set in Boston and a three-day concert in Tampa, Florida.

PLUS: Celebrate Dominican Independence Day With These Delicious Recipes

Wave that flag with pride today and always, dominicanos.