Special to the Independent
The City of Everett held its flag raising and celebration in honor of Italian American Heritage Month on the corner of Church Street and Broadway at Everett City Hall.
Italian American Heritage Month is celebrated during the month of October to recognize the achievements and cultural contributions of Italian Americans to the United States. As part of Mayor DeMaria’s Everett For Everyone initiative, the City of Everett held its own celebration in recognition of the month.
The emcee of the event was Mayor Carlo DeMaria, who welcomed attendees to the event and opened the ceremony with a prayer from Father Khiet Dang Cao, who is the Vicar at St. Anthony’s Parish.
After, the mayor asked attendees to join him in a moment of silence for Italian American and U.S. Army Cpl. Joseph J. Puopolo before beginning the celebration.
Puopolo, when he was 19, served in the Korean War. He was captured and died in February 1951 as a prisoner of war. He was accounted for this past August and was laid to rest alongside other members of his family.
Mayor DeMaria, who is an Italian American, began by speaking about the importance of family to Italian culture and reflected on his parent’s journey to the United States.
“Family is at the center of everything we do. It’s at the heart of who we are,” said Mayor DeMaria. “When I think about being an Italian American, my thoughts always go to my parents and the journey that brought them here.”
The mayor also spoke about how Italians know the importance of family, appreciating their history, embracing their values and being proud of their culture and how it connects with every other culture in the community.
“Every person here today can identify with these human qualities,” said Mayor DeMaria. “They are part of my Italian heritage, but they are just as much a part of every culture that we celebrate in our community. These are the great things about each one of us that bind us together and make us one.”
After the opening address, there were remarks from State Senator Sal DiDomenico, State Rep. Joe McGonagle, Alberto Mustone from the Boston District of the Committees of Italians Abroad and Liliana Taurasi Rizza.
Following the speakers, Sharon Zeffero accompanied by Ray Cavicchio performed the Italian and American national anthems while the Italian flag was being raised to fly high at City Hall.
Immediately after the ceremony was finished, attendees were invited to continue the celebration at the Orsogna Plaza to enjoy Italian food, drinks and Italian music performed by Seabreeze.
The event was a tremendous success and allowed for community members of all cultures and backgrounds to come together to learn more and celebrate Italian American Heritage Month.
Mayor DeMaria would like to thank all the attendees and participants who made this event successful.