(Minghui.org) As more than 8,000 Falun Gong practitioners gathered in New York City last week for a series of activities to celebrate the anniversary of the practice's public introduction, 20 New York State Assembly members issued proclamations to mark the special occasion.

Assemblyman Fred Thiele, 1st District

Assemblyman Fred Thiele wrote, “On May 13, 2015 we celebrate World Falun Dafa Day....The practice of Falun Dafa encourages people to be thoughtful of others at all times and is guided by the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance.”

Assemblyman Steve Englebright, 4th District

Assemblyman Steve Englebright wrote, “practitioners have participated in and sponsored over a thousand events throughout the tri-state and have given workshops in senior centers, corporate offices, health clubs, private residences and police stations throughout the state free of charge.”

“New York State is a better place because of practitioners of Falun Dafa who are committed to enlightenment and spiritual fulfillment,” he added.

Assemblyman Philip Ramos, 6th District

Assemblyman Philip Ramos highlights Falun Dafa's “spiritual doctrine that motivates practitioners to encourage people and communities to live by the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance.”

Assemblyman Andrew Garbarino, 7th District

Assemblyman Andrew Garbarino wrote in his proclamation, “Falun Dafa is practiced and cherished by millions of people in more than 114 countries around the world and has received over 3,000 awards and whose main text has been translated into 38 languages.”

Assemblyman Chad Lupinacci, 10th District

Assemblyman Chad Lupinacci wrote, “World Falun Dafa Day on May 13 is such an important day. It is a celebration of 'Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance', universal values distilled through 5,000 years of ancient civilization.”

“Practitioners adhere to the principles while playing different roles—as parents, children, business professionals, members of the community—it is truly a way of life that permeates every aspect of their lives.”

Assemblyman Andrew Raia, 12th District

Assemblyman Andrew Raia wrote, “Mr. Li Hongzhi first brought Falun Dafa out to the public in May of 1992, in Changchun, China. He then traveled around China lecturing to the public. The impact his lectures had on the society was so profound, that the practice spread very rapidly. By 1998, it was estimated that 100 million people had taken up the practice.”

“On Long Island, for the past 15 years, local Falun Dafa practitioners have participated in and sponsored over a thousand events.”

Assemblyman Thomas McKevitt, 17th District, commends Falun Dafa as a self-improvement practice

Assemblyman Thomas McKevitt wrote, “Falun Dafa, known also as Falun Gong, is a self-improvement practice, with its roots in ancient Chinese culture, assisting individuals in the pursuit of attaining his or her highest capability in mind and body.”

“...citizens of the nation of China have embraced this practice, although it has been banned by the government, at great risk to their own personal health and well-being; the practice has also gained millions of followers throughout the world, who have taken to heart the principles of truthfulness, compassion and forbearance and practice these principles in their daily lives.”

Assemblywoman Annette Robinson, 56th District

Assemblywoman Annette Robinson wrote in her proclamation, “I am intrigued by the history of Falun Dafa. It is an ancient discipline of mind/body cultivation. It uses meditation and exercise as the means to improve the physical and mental wellness of individuals and therefore the society as a whole. Its principles of Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance are key principles for achieving a better life. One of the things I know we can all agree on is to work to become a kinder, gentler and more thoughtful society.”

“In Brooklyn, your efforts over the years have resulted in free exercise classes in senior centers, parks, and libraries. You have participated in numerous community parades and street fairs.”

“I again congratulate the Organization during this 16th annual commemoration of World Falun Dafa Day and wish you the best as you move forward in improving the world.”

Proclamations were also received from the following New York State Assembly members:

Charles D. Lavine (13th District)

David G. McDonough (14th District)

Michelle Schimel (16th District)

Andrew Hevesi (28th District)

Mike Miller (38th District)

Alec Brook-Krasny (46th District)

Joseph Lentol (50th District)

Maritza Davila (53th District)

Guillermo Linares (72nd District)

Dan Quart (73rd District)

Rebecca A. Seawright (76th District)

Brian Curran (21st District)