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Monday, July 04, 2016

GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH…

These words will never die. And with the zeal of our forbearers, we take up that torch and believe in it. They came here with no understanding of the language, no concept of life as it would be, with a hope, dream and want to be American. “They thought the streets were paved with gold: mom told me! 

I’m proud of my ancestors. They didn’t realize how brave they were: they just did it. You are here because of guts, courage and visionary dreams of freedom, all from these simple wonderful people. Brave and daring they took on the idea that they wanted to leave in their wake a positive legacy for their children and generation to come.

The 4th of July is indeed a celebration of our freedom from tyranny, oppression and subjugation. Our forbearers did the same thing, freeing themselves from those very issues as they arrived from Italy. Ireland and Poland, China and Russia and Germany. What does it say about America, when people of all kinds of faith, political bent and nationalities come here, embrace the uncertainty and adopt without question?

As a child of Italian descent, I respect Republic Day, also known as Festa della Repubblica in Italian (Festival of the Republic), a national holiday in Italy on June 2 each year. It celebrates the day when Italians voted to abolish the monarchy in 1946 so their country could become a republic. Republic Day is a day off work for many people in Italy. Like our 4th of July, events include Official ceremonies, Military parades and laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, inside the Altare della Patria in Rome. Outside Italy, many Italian diplomats in embassies celebrate this day worldwide. Organizations and businesses that are closed include Government offices, Post offices. Banks. And Schools and other educational institutions.
On June 2, 1946, many Italians voted in a referendum to rid the monarchy and for the country to become a republic. The public was hostile to the monarchy, which had supported Benito Mussolini’s rule. Around that time, the Italian royal family was also exiled from Italy.
 
Each year, a wreath is laid at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on Republic Day. The tomb, which also has an eternal flame, was added to the one of Italy’s largest national monuments, Altare della Patria (Altar of the Fatherland), on November 4, 1921. However, the tomb, which was designed by sculptor Alberto Sparapani, was not completed until 1924.
But it mirrors our Independence Day, and the same respect afforded to our history, and proves that all over the world, we all want the same thing: Peace!

As much pride as I take in Festival of the Republic, it can’t replace the grand old flag, every time I see the stars and stripes paraded by me, my heart skips a beat, I remember the sacrifice and the bravery of so many Americans, who when duty called, were duty bound and performed so, gallantly. But it doesn’t stop there, in the pride swells the fact that it is built by immigrants, no matter their names, race or nationality, in which my blood is too, part of that flag!

The most important thing I think I have gotten from this life is that “The streets ARE paved with gold” that is the hard work of our immigrant forbearers and their fellow immigrants, given their hard work, and sacrifice, including many of their children during World War II. Italy is a wonderful place, I’ve visited it a few times, but when I arrive home and land on American soil, the pride rushes through me.

We are all fortunate that we live here, no matter your past family history, but under the stars and stripes; we are all brothers and sisters.


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