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FLATBUSH, Brooklyn – The Haitian community in Brooklyn celebrated on Thursday now that the Newkirk Avenue subway station officially has a new addition to its name honoring their heritage.

The subway station, which houses the Nos. 2 and 5 trains, is now named Newkirk Avenue – Little Haiti.

With a big smile waving the Haitian flag, AniYa A. is joyful.

“I feel so proud because growing up, and I’m trying not to get emotional, we were bullied and harassed so much because we were so proud of our country,” she said.

It’s an historic day too. The Battle of Vertières was on Nov. 18, 1803; it was the last major battle of the Haitian Revolution, with Haitians defeating French troops.

Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn said it marked an important time for the country.

“That victory ultimately led Haiti to become the world’s first free Black republic, second to the United States,” the assemblymember said.

She introduced legislation to get the new name — and with $250,000 dollars allocated in state funding, the MTA  has updated signage on the sidewalk and platform and will change its audio system to include ‘Little Haiti.’

Haitians in the neighborhood, like Sergot Medy, are honored, but have not forgotten about troubles back in their home country.

“I really appreciate what’s going on here, but I would love the same thing that’s going on right here, I want it to be in my country too because we are really, really suffering,” Medy said.

Political unrest and natural disasters have plagued Haiti for years. Their president was assassinated in July and one month later, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake killed thousands.

Despite these troubles, the spirit of the Haitian people remains strong as they celebrate the present and hope for better days in the future.