Columbus statute earns re-dedication in Garfield

Oct 23, 2017 451

BY: Tom Nobile

An air of defiance hung over the re-dedication ceremony for a Christopher Columbus statute in Garfield on Saturday morning. Local, state and federal leaders who spoke at Columbus Park for the monument’s 50th anniversary made brief nods to the anti-Columbus sentiment that has swept the nation of late. But for the more than 40 people in attendance, the statue can stand for another half century and beyond.  

“What Columbus did in the 15th century is the 20th century equivalent of landing on the moon,” said Allan Focarino, the Eastern Regional Chairman for UNICO, an Italian-American service organization. Columbus remained a towering figure in world history when UNICO dedicated the statute in 1967. In the decades since, the Italian explorer’s legacy has slowly diminished with criticism from Native American and Latino communities. 

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