Terming India a "friend" in the "volatile" South Asian region, city authorities on Thursday lauded the country for its tolerance and applauded the contribution of Indian Americans to the economy and culture of the US.
Addressing a gathering of Indian-Americans after the Indian tri-colour was unfurled in Chicago, Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart said, "India is in a volatile area of the world. It is nice to have a friend there".
The authorities also remembered the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru in India's non-violent struggle for freedom as the country readies to celebrate the 62nd year of its independence.
Reading Mayor Richard Daley's message, Director at the Chicago Commission on Human Relations Kripal Zala said Indian-Americans have contributed immensely to the city's health care, law, business and culture.
Speaking on the occasion, Illinois Senator Ira Silverstein said, "India has done a lot of the US" and contributions by its people are growing manifold every day.
The Independence day celebrations, which included cultural performances by youths, were organised by the Association of Indians in America (AIA).