Columbus Day honor passes without explorer's name

Sep 13, 2019 313

BY: Dustin Luca

An order targeting flagpoles at Riley Plaza in downtown Salem has brought the debate surrounding Columbus Day to the City Council chambers, and it passed without the explorer's name attached to it. Ward 4 City Councilor Tim Flynn introduced an order Thursday night to "raise the Italian flag at Riley Plaza on Oct. 14, 2019, in honor of Columbus Day." It was ultimately passed by a vote of 8 to 3 after heated discussion with Christine Madore, Beth Gerard and Tom Furey opposed.

Before passage, however, the date was changed to Oct. 1, the first day of Italian American Heritage and Culture Month, and renamed to honor the month as opposed to Columbus. "We're celebrating them," Ward 3 City Councilor Lisa Peterson said, "and not tying this burden around their neck by tying the celebration of them to someone who's done such horrible things."

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