Archive for May, 2011

The Sons of Italy Foundation (SIF) presented U.S. Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island with a lifetime achievement award for his career in public service during its 23rd annual National Education & Leadership Awards (NELA) gala in Washington, D.C. on May 25. Also honored were Carmen Policy, former president & CEO, San Francisco Forty-niners; Steven Nardizzi, executive director, Wounded Warrior Project; and Pier Francesco Guarguaglini, chairman, of the Italian multi-national Finmeccanica, the eighth largest defense contractor in the world. Carmen Policy received the SIF’s most coveted honor, its National Education & Leadership Award, which gives the gala its name.

Sen. Reed, a West Point graduate who served 12 years in the U.S. Army as an Army Ranger and paratrooper before entering politics, has traveled to Iraq 12 times over the past several years. During his acceptance speech, he thanked the late U.S. Senator John Pastore, the first Italian American ever elected to the Senate, who had sponsored his application to West Point.

“America is the work of many hands from many lands,” Sen. Reed said. “But in my experience, no hands have given more to America and asked for less than Italian Americans.” Sen. Reed was the

Giada Valenti, Raymond Odierno, Joseph Sciame

third non-Italian American to receive this award which was first given to Vice President Joseph Biden in 2009. The 2010 award went to President Bill Clinton.

Approximately 800 guests attended this year’s gala at the National Building Museum. Among them were prominent leaders from government, business, academia, sports and entertainment, including Gen. Raymond Odierno, commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, and his son, Capt. Anthony Odierno (U.S. Army, ret.) who lost an arm in Iraq. He was honored by the Sons of Italy last year.



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On Sunday, March 22, 2011, a Mass was held at Holy Rosary Church in Washington DC, to commemorate the 19th anniversary of the assassination by the Mafia of Giovanni Falcone, his wife Francesca Morvillo, and security agents Rocco Di Cillo, Antonio Montinari, and Vito Schifani. Among those present were Ambassador Giulio Terzi, members of the Italian community in Washington, Supreme Court justices Samuel Alito

Giovanni Falcone

and Antonin Scalia, Italian judge and Falcone’s student, Giannicola Sinisi, senior counselor at the Embassy of Italy, and agents from the FBI with which Falcone worked closely in the fight against Cosa Nostra and its ramifications in the United States. More . . .

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As we wrote back in February, the three young Italian tenors from Il Volo have arrived in America and tomorrow night they will perform on American Idol. After “Idol,” the boys will appear on CBS’ “The Early Show” on May 21.

Il Volo

 As noted by Kerri Mason of Billboard Magazine, “With a name to fit their ambition — Il Volo means “flight” — Barone, Boschetto and Ginoble possess the youth, looks, charm and, most important, the voices to match. The hope is that they’ll transcend their built-in constituency of doting grandmothers and classical apologists and win the youth vote.” We bet they will! Buona fortuna Piero, Ignazio e Gianluca!

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