On behalf of OSIA, Order Sons and Daughters of Italy in America, I am pleased and honored to be once again attending this ceremony and today’s Mass and festivities with our fellow Italian organizations.


Now more than ever, it is important that we present a unified front to protect and preserve our national holiday -- Columbus Day.


We join with our brothers and sisters from all the JCCIA organizations today to celebrate and commemorate the struggles, hardships and accomplishments of Italians in America.


Our Order’s founder, Dr. Vincenzo Sellero, gave the original “I have a dream speech” on our founding in New York City on June 22, 1905. I believe it is important today that I again repeat his closing remarks: “It is because of this today, I have a dream and hope that someday, even if it takes 100 more years before we are fully accepted, our children and their children’s children, even if they carry a single drop of Italian blood will be able and proud to continue to carry on our traditions, our culture, and our language. It is up to us, and what we do today!”


These words ring true today, and I am confident that if we stay unified, his dream and ours will continue to be fulfilled for generations to come.