Columbus Day 2013: Official Statement from The Sons of Italy

Oct 08, 2013, 12:42 ET from Order Sons of Italy in America

WASHINGTON, Oct. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Sons of Italy, the biggest and oldest national organization for people of Italian heritage in the U.S., strongly supports celebrating the celebration of Columbus Day for several reasons. 

First, it commemorates the remarkable achievement of a skilled 15th century Italian sea captain, whose voyages opened permanent communication between Europe and the Americas. Second, Columbus Day is the only holiday that recognizes the contributions, achievements and sacrifices of this nation's estimated 26 million Italian Americans, the fifth largest ethnic group, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. It is the day we celebrate our heritage while on the other 364 days we must endure the relentless stereotyping of our culture, speech, religion, and even our most treasured customs by the U.S. entertainment, advertising and news media.

But Columbus matters for a third and even more important reason. After him came millions of other Europeans who brought their art, music, science, medicine, philosophy, law and religious principles to America. Columbus matters because Greek democracy, Roman law, Judeo-Christian ethics and the tenet that all men are created equal are European contributions that helped create the nation we live in today. 

Despite all this, Columbus Day is under siege by revisionist historians who paint him as a villain.  He was a man of his times for better and for worse. Is it logical or even fair to judge a 15th century man by 21st century standards? Think about it. Do we ban St. Patrick's Day celebrations because of the long and bloody struggle between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland?  Do we abolish Thanksgiving because the Pilgrims invaded Indian territory? Take away Columbus Day and what's next? The Fourth of July? 

Established in 1905, the Sons of Italy (officially, the Order Sons of Italy in America), is the biggest and oldest national  organization representing Americans of Italian heritage in the U.S., with hundreds of thousands of family members located in all fifty states and the District of Columbia.  To learn more, visit OSIA on the Web at

For interviews, contact Dona De Sanctis/Communications at
The Sons of Italy's national headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Tel: 202/547 2900. Email:

SOURCE Order Sons of Italy in America