The Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii in Chicago was filled to capacity on June 3 for the ninth annual Festa della Repubblica hosted by Comitato Tricolore Italiani nel Mondo. After the Mass, a parade featuring the flags of Italy’s regions and the banners of local organizations made its way through the Taylor Street neighborhood to the Christopher Columbus Monument in Arrigo Park, where speeches were made, and a petition was signed to preserve the names of Balbo Street and the Balbo Monument.
Participants returned to the shrine for a street festival featuring Italian music, sandwiches for purchase and a vintage Italian auto show.
The 50th anniversary of the death Sgt. Thomas Davino will be commemorated at this year’s celebration. Davino perished in a helicopter crash in Vietnam on July 3, 1968. Italian Consul General Giuseppe Finocchiaro spoke to the crowd, expressing gratitude for the sacrifice made by Davino.
The 50th anniversary of CTIM (Comitato Tricolore per gli Italiani all’Estero) was celebrated at the event. With CTIM president Roberto Menia arriving from Rome to take part in the festivities.
Out-of-town guests were treated to a sightseeing tour of the city the day before, followed by a dinner at the Società Santa Fara di Cinisi Clubhouse to raise funds for the event.