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Archive for May, 2010

Memorial Day 2010

Today we remember and commemorate all those American heroes who gave their lives in the cause of freedom.  It is easy to forget, as we immerse ourselves in our daily lives, that millions of lives have been forever changed because loved ones, friends, have died to defend America’s freedom.  For us Italian Americans it is especially important to remember that more that 1.5 million Italian Americans served in World War II – thousands of them died to liberate Italy.  All Italians and Italian Americans have much to be grateful for today on this Memorial Day.

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Memorial Day 2010

Today we remember and commemorate all those American heroes who gave their lives in the cause of freedom.  It is easy to forget, as we immerse ourselves in our daily lives, that millions of lives have been forever changed because loved ones, friends, have died to defend America’s freedom.  For us Italian Americans it is especially important to remember that more that 1.5 million Italian Americans served in World War II – thousands of them died to liberate Italy.  All Italians and Italian Americans have much to be grateful for today on this Memorial Day.

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The Columbus Citizens Foundation of New York City has pledged $500,000 to help reinstate The College Board’s Italian Language and Culture Advanced Placement program. The program, known as AP Italian, was suspended following the 2008-2009 school year because of a lack of funding.

 The commitment, announced by the Foundation’s president Frank Fusaro, matches the National Italian American Foundation’s pledge of $500,000 announced last April. The Italian Government through the leadership of Italian Ambassador to Washington, Giulio Terzi di Sant’Agata, has spearheaded the efforts to bring together national Italian American organizations and to ensure that the AP program would be reinstated. Earlier this year, Italy pledged $1.5 million. The Order Sons of Italy (OSIA) has pledged $75,000 over threee years. READ MORE

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Fathe Lydio Tomasi, Monsignor Marco Sprizzi, Minister Sebastiani Cardi

Mass at Holy Rosary Church in Washington DC

Italian magistrate Giovanni  Falcone, who was assassinated in Sicily in 1992, was  remembered by the Italian American community  in Washington, DC at a solemn mass held at Holy Rosary Church in Washington, DC.  The event was organized by Giannicola Sinisi, Justice Attache at the Italian Embassy in Washington, who was a colleague of Falcone.  Monsignor Marco Sprizzi of the Papal Nunciature and Father Lydio Tomasi, Pastor of Holy Rosary Church, celebrated the mass.  Minister Sebastiano Cardi, the Deputy Chief of Mission at the Italian Embassy spoke about Falcone’s contributions to law enforcement, not just in Italy but also in the United States through his collaboration with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Also speaking at the event was Carmine Russo, a retired Special Agent of the FBI, who recounted his meeting and subsequent collaboration with Giovanni Falcone.

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Spring is in the air!  Did you know that Ferruccio Vitale was one of the greatest if not the greatest landscape architect in America?  Like many other great Italian Americans who contributed to building America, he has been forgotten!

R. Terry Schnadelbach who authored the book, Ferruccio Vitale: Landscape Architect of the Country Place Era, said about him: “Ferruccio Vitale was the first landscape architect to challenge creatively the design philosophy of the then-dominant American landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmstead.  Sr. Vitale, an Italian immigrant, brought to America at the turn of the twentieth century a new style of landscape design an professionalism . . . . Vitale’s unique designs and rationale philosophy influenced a line of landscape architects who, generation after generation, were schooled in his principles and practice, forming perphaps, the Vitale school of landscape design.”

Read more about Ferruccio Vitale at CiaoAmerica! Magazine.

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National Law Enforcement MemorialEach May during National Police Week, America pauses to recognize the service and sacrifice of U.S. law enforcement.  Established in 1962 by President John F. Kennedy and a joint resolution of Congress, National Police Week pays special tribute to those law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others. Ceremonies are held in Washington, DC, and in communities across the country.

This week we remember especially those Italian Americans who gave their lives to protect ours.  We remember especially an Italian American hero, Lt. Giuseppe “Joe” Petrosino, a N.Y.C. police officer and organized crime fighter who was assassinated in Palermo, Sicily on March 12, 1909, while investigating the connections between the Sicilian Mafia and the Black Hand in New York City.

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