Written by G.J.S., a thirteen year old eighth grade student.

As an Italian American girl with immigrant grandparents I take pride in being Italian. I also have great respect for Christopher Columbus. Columbus is a symbol of courage and perseverance and strength for the Italian culture. That’s why Columbus Day means so much to me as an Italian American. Columbus Day is a holiday that commemorates the landing of Christopher Columbus in the Americas in 1492. Columbus left such a legacy from that day forward. Unfortunately, today Columbus is portrayed as a villain. Many states in America do not celebrate Columbus Day. However, New York celebrates this magnificent explorer.

Italian Americans take this day very seriously. This day celebrates all the Italians that came to America for a better life. When the Italians came to America they worked very hard and faced discrimination. However, they persevered to make a better life for their families. The Columbus Day parade holds great significance for myself and my family. Italians made the ultimate sacrifice by leaving a world they knew for the unknown. My Nonno, grandfather, came to this country alone when he was 24 years old and left his parents and 4 siblings behind. He came to America with $20.00 in his pocket with no prospects and no where to go. What made things harder was that he didn’t know the language. To make money he worked various jobs during the day so he would have money to pay for classes to learn the English language. This is just one example of Italian courage, strength and perseverance. This is why the Columbus Day parade means so much to my family and I. On that day we remember all the sacrifices our ancestors made for us and what the Italians contributed to the world. Italians have enriched the world with music, art, fashion, cars, and especially food.

“On that day we remember all the sacrifices out ancestors made for us and what the Italians contributed to the world.”

G.J.S.

Columbus Day is celebrated the second Monday in October each year. The parade is sponsored and run by the Columbus Citizens Foundation in Manhattan and the parade runs down 5th avenue. On that day all Italian Americans line the streets of Manhattan to show their admiration for the Italian explorer that came before them and paved the way for the Italians that came after him. For these reasons it is important not to erase history and not hold people from over 500 years ago to today’s standards. Instead of tearing down statutes why don’t we learn from the past. Christopher Columbus is a hero not only for me, but for all Italian Americans.