Monday, October 14, 2013

Happy Columbus Day!

By Nicholas Stix
Originally published on October 8, 2012

Of particular relevance to New York, note that the city's two greatest mayors, Rudy Giuliani and Fiorello Laguardia, were both Italian.

Columbus Day is treated as an Italian ethnic celebration. Today, for instance, during the local coverage of the parade, we got to see an Italian sing “Volare” off-key. However, my 12-year-old research assistant asked why, if Columbus was sailing under the Spanish flag, it is an Italian, and not a Spanish celebration?

I had no logical answer to his query, but instead a political one. While some Hispanics and Spaniards would surely love to claim Columbus Day for themselves, others would make life miserable for them.

Unlike celebrations such as Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, which is an anti-American holiday, and St. Patrick's Day, which is limited to Irish Catholics, Columbus Day truly belongs to all Americans.

Should anyone respond, “But I don't feel that Columbus Day truly belongs to me,” I say, Maybe you're not a real American. There are millions of counterfeits in circulation.

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