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June 8, 2012     Post-Gazette
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June 8, 2012

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-Paged POST-GAZETTE,-JUNE 8; 201-2 1 Tj00! 1 by Sal Giarratani Marinai 1 *t place Bocce winners 2 "d place Bocce winners 3 rd place Bocce winners Owned and operated by Pamela Donnaruma, Publisher, Post-Gazette Carabinieri Many Italians braved the uncertain weather to celebrate La Festa della Repubblica at Columbus Park last Sunday June 3. This year marked the 66 th anniversary of the birth of the Republic, when, with a referendum held on June 2, 1946, Italians rejected the monarchy in favor of a democratic republic. All the members of the Federation of Italian and Italo-American associations in New England and Co- mites, came together for a great block party, una bella festa di piazza. The festivities were opened by the national anthems. Consul General Giuseppe Pastorelli thanked the par- ticipants for their efforts and announced a project for the creation of a new Center for Italian culture, for which a generous amount has al- ready been collected at the gala fundraiser. Also men- tioned were the efforts to col- lect funds to aid the victims in the recent earthquake in Emilia- Romagna. Consul Pastorelli ended the opening ceremonies by giving out trophies to the three best teams of the Bocce Tournament held on May 27. Winner was the Associazione Gizio, which also came in third place with another of its teams. The second place went to the Sons of Italy. Some of the associations are decades old and reflect the cultural ties with their place of origin: Sicily, Orsegna, Abruzzi and Calabria. Others encompass the whole of Italian tradi- tions. This year a brand new association made its debut: Donne 2000, an association founded by and for women, represented at the Festa by Rita Susi. (Photos by Rosario Scabin, Ross Photography). I Met an American Hero I was over in Quincy like I am every Memorial Day to march in that city's annual parade honoring all of our fallen heroes. While getting ready for my march, I met an old guy setting up his segway with a pole and American flag high up on it. I found out he was a young 89 year old and served in World War II as a scuba diver. I also found out he was the owner for many years of that scuba div- ing shop at the corner of Evans Road and Bridge Street across the Fore River Bridge from Quincy in North Weymouth. There are dwin- dling numbers of World War II veterans each holiday and each and every one of them is a reminder of a great sac- rifice made following De- cember 7, 1941 when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Another close friend of mine in East Boston is also a WWlI veteran of the U.S. Navy. I marched and thanked all those that lined the parade thanking us for our service. On Memorial Day, I was marching with all these guys with graying hair remem- bering when my hair was dark brown and I was only 18 years old and arriving at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas back in November 1966. Time speeds by but for all of us who have taken this long ride in life, we lucked out compared from WWll at the Parade to all those who have sacri- ficed their very lives so that all of us could be here today honoring those fallen he- roes. As I marched down Han- cock Street, I thought of the number 425, the number of all those who have died in combat since last Memorial Day. These men were not statistics, they had names, faces and families and now we remember them as our newest heroes. The sky was bright and temperature mild. Many in the crowds held up signs that simply said "Thank You." It is amazing how this tradition never dies. Memorial Day is about honor and sacrifice. It is about re- membering who we are as a free people, what we stand for and risk our lives for. As a child, I lived next door to an elderly man who was both a WWI veteran and also a Rough Rider with Teddy Roosevelt in 1898. I learned history close and personal from someone who was there when it happened. I march and I remember that old man back in 1962 and know that each generation sacrifices for the next to en- sure we always remain free and secure. The drums beat slowly and we listened to taps being played. We celebrate many na- tional holidays but none is more important than this one at the end of May. The Agency for all your Insurance Coverages Richard Settipane AUTO HOMEOWNERS TENANTS COMMERCIAL Experience makes the difference SPECIALIST in RESTAURANT and BUSINESS POLICIES CALL TODAY FOR YOUR QUOTE 617-523-3456 - Fax 617-723-9212 1 Longfellow - Place Suite 2322 - Boston, MA 02114 Conveniently located with Free Parking NORTH END00 Quality Printing for all your Commercial and Personal Needs Stationery * Business Cards * Menus * Flyers Program Books * Wedding and Party Invitations Announcements Business Forms and Documents m COMPETITIVE PRICES m 617-227-8929