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July 3, 2015

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t Page4 POST-GAZETTE, JULY 3, 2015 L'Anno BeUo: A Year in Italian Folklore A Fun, Festive Fourth by Ally Di Censo Symynkywicz No other holi- day smells, tastes or feels like sum- mer more than the Fourth of July. It is the scent of fired-up grills emanating from every American backyard, the light swirl of smoke rising up in the hazy heat. It is the taste of sweet buttered corn crunch- ing between your teeth. The Fourth of July encompasses the sounds of families laugh- ing as they share food and memories outside, and of fireworks exploding across a silky night sky. To this day, I still feel a mysterious shiver when I hear the faint sound of fireworks bursting from some far-off festival during a starlit evening. These distant fireworks in- still in me the feeling of the unknown, the sensation that little feasts are sweep- ing the country before the big celebration of Indepen- dence Day. Because of these exciting and myriad feel- ings, the Fourth of July re- mains one of my favorite holidays, the quintessential celebration of summer. It is a commemoration of family and food, patriotism and heritage, history and diver- sity, all converging in a bril- liant summer day. Had Massachusetts re!pre- sentative John Adams been correct, we would have been honoring our country's Iade- pendence Day on the second of July. That was the day in 1776 when, during the height of the Revolutionary War, the convention of del- egates from the Thirteen Colonies, known as the Sec- ond Continenta~ Congress, approved a resolution that declared independence from Great Britain. Adams pre- dicted that this day would for- evermore be marked with parades, bonfires and games. In reality, Adams's speculation on the nature of Independence Day celebra- tions proved accurate, only the date shifted to the fourth, when the Congress finally approved this declaration af- ter much revision. There- fore, the Fourth of July com- memorates a tremendous event--a bold statement of independence, a desire to free oneself from oppression that would inspire revolu- tions the world over. As a patriotic holiday, the Fourth of July is also a perfect time to honor America's diversity, and during this holiday I of- ten reflect on what it means to be Italian-American. Ital- ians have been involved in America's quest for liberty and equality since the country's early days. The Tuscan physician Filippo Mazzei inspired the Declara- tion of Independence's statement that everyone has fundamental equality. Giuseppe Garibaldi, the hero of Italian independence, was recruited to fight in the Civil War and though he did not because of his commitment to Italy's freedom, his name inspired a Union Army regi- ment comprised of soldiers from both Europe and America. The U.S. Capitol dome was painted by an Ital- ian immigrant, Constantino Brumidi. I believe that America's diversity and blend of cultures is precisely What makes our country so great, and on the Fourth of July I celebrate my pride as both an American and an Italian-American. Along with its history, the Fourth of July is also a rev- elry in the primordial plea- sures of summer, of outdoor festivities and food and fire and the splash of water. In this way, it resembles Euro- pean Midsummer celebra- tions, which mark the height of the season around the summer solstice. My family has several Fourth of July traditions which I hold especially dear, all of which RISTORANTE & BAR Traditional Italian Cuisine 415 Hanover Street, Boston 617.367.2353 11 MountVernon Street, Winchester 781.729.0515 [)pirate I:..ctio. ooms fop any Occasio. Ck,ist .i.q B,idol Skow , gol q Skow , I irtl datI [ e, eaveme.t, Flc. Donato Fraflaroli donato @ luciaboston.comwww.luciaristorante.oom \ j epitomize the un- bridled joy of sum- mer. On the night of July 3rd, my husband and I watch a fireworks display put on by our old hometown. As we sit in the stands of the high school football field, we are sur- rounded by im- ages of vintage Americana: children playing tag across the field, glow sticks waving like little bursts of starlight brought down to Earth, snatches of classic rock tunes, and streaks of color illuminating the night sky as the crowd hushes with awe. On the Fourth, my family-gathers for a festive meal which would not be complete with- out my two Independence Day mainstays: a South- western corn pudding and Zebra Pudding, a delectable dessert consisting of choco- late wafers layered with whipped cream, decorated with chocolate sprinkles, and refrigerated until prop- erly cool and the wafers turn soft. My mother usually makes a panzanella salad and, as an appetizer, a dip of salsa and cream cheese served with tortilla chips. We usually have relatives from overseas visiting us during the Fourth of July, and it makes me proud to share this American holiday with them. As we gather for food and fun, we laugh and share nostalgic and funny stories as the hot summer day descends into a balmy, firefly-filled evening. I will always be thankful for this day of community, love, pride and food! The Fourth of July grants us an opportunity to pause and reflect on what is most important in life. As we cel- ebrate the freedoms that make America wonderful, we should pause and honor the sacrifices of the men and women throughout his- tory and the modern day who made these freedoms pos- sible. We should take this holiday as a chance to feel proud to be an American but also proud of our ethnic heri- tage, which contributes to our unique identities. Fi- nally, we should see the Fourth of July as a prime feast of summer, and all of the joys that the season en- tails. With that, I must take the time to wish everyone ... A Happy and Safe Fourth of July! Ally Di Censo Symynkywicz is a Graduate Student in History at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She appreciates any comments and suggestions abdut Italian holidays and folklore at # DIAMONDS 1 I nOLEX | ESTATE JEWELRY | Bought & Sold Jewelers Exch. Bldg. Jim (617) 263-7766 by Sal Giarratani Happy Birthday America/ Lately, we have been hearing a lot about America's short- comings as a nation. No one ever said America was perfect but this nation does get it about individual liberty and eco- nomic freedom. We have many naysayers out there who can't wait to highlight our weaknesses. But when it comes to living in this world of ours, there is no better place to call home than America and we owe it all to our forbearers who sacrificed their all for today's America and into the future. God bless America and may she long prevail. As we get ready to celebrate this Fourth of July holiday, let us reflect on what it means to be an American. What it means living in a. free society. What it means to remem- ber the struggle it took and continues to take to make America an even better place to call home. What is an American? "He is either a European, or the descendant of a Euro- pean, hence that strange mixture of blood, which you will find in no other country. I could point out to you a family whose grandfather was an Englishman, whose wife was Dutch, whose son married a French woman, and whose present four sons have now four wives of different nations ... Here individuals of all nations are melted into a new race of men, whose labors and posterity will one day cause changes in the world." -- J. Hector St. John de Cr6vecoeur, 1782 by Sal Giarratani Ribbon cutters included Jack Cradock, Rep. Adrian Madaro, Rita Sorrento, Laura Wagner, City Councilor Sal LaMattina and Manny Lopes. (Photo by Sal Giarratani) The East Boston Neighborhood Health Center's Elder Ser- vice Plan recently celebrated its 25th anniversary and the Wellness Center's Ribbon Cutting on Tuesday, June 16th. The center is located at 155 Addison Street right off Saratoga Street. This remodeled site is a welcome addition for the eiders who find the center a welcome addition into their own lives, too. The mission of the Wellness Center is to keep seniors active and independent for as long as possible. If you are 55 years and older, you might want to check this place out. EAST BOSTON SATELLITE OFFICE NOW OPEN MARIE MATARESE 35 Bennington Street, East Boston 617.227.8929 TUES. 10:00 A.M. - 3.00 P.M. THURS. 11:00 A.M.- 2:00 P.M.