Mishawaka stands by Columbus

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The Columbus Day celebration on Oct. 10 in Mishawaka, Indiana, went off without a hitch. A 1 p.m. ceremony at the Columbus statue in the city’s Central Park was attended by several hundred people and featured presentations by Mishawaka Mayor Dave Wood and Elkhart County Commissioner Frank Lucchese. Festivities continued with an Italian buffet luncheon at the DiLoreto Society, with food donated by local restaurants.

The event was sponsored by the DiLoreto Society, DeAmicis Italian Club, Italian American Heritage Society of Notre Dame/Michiana, Italian American Relief Association of Elkhart and Knights of Columbus Council 1878.

“Speakers talked about their Italian heritage, the history of the local Italian clubs, and what Columbus means to them and to the United States, as well as the numerous accomplishments of Italian Americans,” says event organizer Joe Agostino. “Everyone who came was very positive and wants to do it again next year and make the event even bigger.”

Agostino decried the lack of media attention, with only one TV station sending a camera crew and no post-event coverage by the local press.

“It is sad that, two years ago, a young Native American woman from an hour away in Michigan came with 10 people to protest the statue, and she got front-page coverage in the paper and airtime on all five local TV stations,” Agostino notes, adding that there have been no protests before or since.

The statue was donated to the northern Indiana city in 1992 by the DiLoreto Society.

 

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