FAIRFIELD, N.J., Oct. 13, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Another Columbus Day has passed with Italian Americans celebrating their pride by marching in parades, displaying the colors, and holding dedication ceremonies. This year also marks another one of controversy as some choose to denigrate Italian Americans by wanting to change the name of the holiday, take down statues, and rename parks.
UNICO National and the Italian American One Voice Coalition are leading several prominent Italian-American organizations to make people aware that one of these groups, the National Education Association (NEA) is funding a campaign to change the name of Columbus Day, a Federal holiday. They are seeking to influence municipalities and school districts to celebrate the second Monday of October as El Dia de la Raza and Indigenous People's Day. Proud Italian Americans are deeply concerned and wary that this movement will result in another strike against their beloved heritage.
Columbus Day is celebrated as recognition of the accomplishments Italian Americans have made to make the country great. Italians were treated poorly when they first immigrated to America. Despite this, Italian Americans rose up and made tremendous contributions in politics, business, the arts, and entertainment.
It is disrespectful to Italian Americans to condemn or change Columbus Day. Each ethnicity is entitled to celebrate their own heritage, but not to the detriment of one. Celebrate other cultures, but in addition to, not instead of Columbus Day.
The NEA is seeking to influence municipalities and school districts to change Columbus Day. The Coalition wants people to support other groups that want to celebrate their heritage, but asks that this not be accomplished at the expense of Italian Americans.
Christopher Columbus' journey to the Americas is a significant event in joining the Old World to the New World. Though the holiday marks the event not the person, Christopher Columbus has come to symbolize the Italian-American experience.
The Coalition encourages those that agree to make their voices heard loud and strong in supporting the preservation of Columbus Day.
Italian American One Voice Coalition
Columbus Citizens Organization
NJ Italian Heritage Commission
Order Sons of Italy
Ocean County Columbus Day Parade
Federation of Italian American Societies
SOURCE UNICO National