The Italian American community of Los Angeles is proud of its cultural heritage and united in the effort to preserve it. This is particularly true on the day that marks the anniversary of the Italian Republic, established on June 2nd, 1946 after the referendum to end the monarchy.
Again this year, the Italian Cultural Institute was chosen as the venue to hold the official celebrations, with the participation of dignitaries and representative of the local Institutions, who gathered together to pay homage to our country and its contribution to the United States and the World. Introduced by master of ceremonies actress Dina Morrone, all of the keynote speakers underlined, in fact, the influence of Italian culture, language, art, genius, and entrepreneurial spirit in building up and shaping the American as well as the global society. Among them were Councilman of the 15th District of Los Angeles Joe Buscaino (the only Italian American in the L.A. City Council), Chief of Protocol for the Mayor of Los Angeles Lynnett Amerian, Deputy Chief of Protocol for the County of Los Angeles Lourdes Saab, and IALOC Board Member Joseph D’Antony on behalf of the Orange County Board of Supervisors, who congratulated and thanked Consul General of Italy Antonio Verde for his commitment and the positive results accomplished in the first months of his mandate in L.A.
As Council Member Buscaino said, the leadership of the Consulate General and the partnership with local Italian organizations, such as the Comites, are essential to further develop both cultural and trade relations between Italy and California. In particular, he mentioned the opening this year of the Italian American Museum of Los Angeles, and the tireless work to build the biggest Italian Heritage Month celebrations in October 2015. These and other projects are also supported by Mayor Eric Garcetti, whose congratulations were expressed by his representative Lynette Amerian. She reminded of Garcetti’s Italian descent, and pointed out that Italian creativity in arts and business greatly contribute to the diversity that makes the U.S. so strong and unique. And in this framework, the IIC as well as the Trade Commission and Chamber of Commerce are among the City’s preferred interlocutors.
The official program of the National Republic Day celebrations started with the invocation and blessing by Father Antonio Fiorenza, native of Basilicata region in Southern Italy and now based in Van Nuys, California. He shared with the IIC guests his joy and pride to participate in such a special occasion and to be part of the Italian people, known not only for the rich history and culture but also for the religious values of peacefulness and kindness.
The national anthems followed, performed by composer Fabrizio Mancinelli accompanying on piano the children’s choir of the Franklin Magnet School, the only one in California to offer a dual immersion program in Italian. This commendable program was introduced 2 years ago with the approval of the Italian Government and, along with the AP (high school Italian language and culture course and exam), represents a priority as it promotes the study of the Italian language in the West Coast, as the Consul General explained. In his speech, he also thanked his staff, all the colleagues from the “Sistema Italia” (IIC, ITA, ENIT, IACCW), and all the sponsors and friends who made the event possible, teaming up and working hard every day to bring the best of Italy to Los Angeles.
All photos credit: Gianfilippo De Rossi