CORNING, N.Y. (WETM)- The United States has set Columbus Day to take place on the second Monday of each October. Columbus Day marks the remembrance of the man who sailed across the sea and found a new land.
Columbus Day became known in 1892, when for the first time it was set as a holiday after 11 Italian Americans were murdered in one of the largest mass lynchings in American history. Columbus Day is now set over 100 years later to remember and celebrate the heritage of Italian Americans. For many of these people, the story of Christopher Columbus brings a sense of pride.
“If it wasn’t for him [Columbus] my grandfather would of never come to this country, Guglielmo Marconi would of never come to this country, and all these World War II veterans who served for the United States,” said Commander of the Italian American War Veterans Nick Cavallaro. “I mean he was just an explorer who was looking for some place to go. So I mean the guy to me was kind of like the Navy Seals. You go on a one way mission and you don’t know if you’re coming back.”
The Italian-American community has also established a strong NATO ally and partner with Italy. Today is the day we honor the beginning of what brought Italian newcomers to America. The stories told by many people allow us to remember the voyage that took place 531 years ago.