AIHA & AIHM President DiNovo Easter Message

Apr 10, 2020 1095

BY: Prof./Cav. Philip J. DiNovo

Without a doubt, the Coronavirus has changed our personal and professional lives. We are in compliance with present NYS guidelines by keeping closed the museum, gift shop, and thrift shop. In addition, all of our scheduled events have been cancelled or postponed until eventually life gets back to normal. Our tenant’s businesses are closed as well.

We face so many challenges, but we will persevere because as you know we have come from very tough stock! I am often reminded of that whenever I stroll around our beautiful museum. How did our parents and grandparents make it? After all, they dealt with poverty, the Spanish flu, the Great Depression, world wars, large families lacking modern conveniences, horrible working conditions.

And, add on to that list their having to endure discrimination and prejudice. For example, my mother’s parents who had five children lost all of their property during the Depression. My great-uncle lost his wife during the Spanish flu at a time when they had very young children. When I heard these stories from my grandmother herself, I questioned just how they were able to manage and she told me that everyone helped. I am sure your family had similar stories. Life was indeed very difficult for so many of us.

I want to preserve your experiences during the present global pandemic crisis so our descendants and future historians will be able to know our stories firsthand. We want to document how this unique time in history has truly affected our lives. I am open to any format you choose. Collect it and donate your information to the museum when the right time comes along. We will place your documented experiences in a box labeled COVID-19 2020A and will keep it in our archives. Become a part of history by contributing your stories of an event certainly shared by everyone.

As president of this organization I have the responsibility of not only managing our Museum, Association and Cultural Center, but also oversight of our three campus buildings while striving to keep us vibrant during this difficult time. I thank all those who are helping me ~ they are great! Bills continue to come in, our tenants may not be able to pay their rent and almost all fundraising has stopped. Most definitely, we could use your assistance, primarily by selling raffle tickets and obtaining new members. It is very important that you receive updates and that we stay in touch. I don’t know when we will be able to send out the next newsletter. If you have not already joined our Facebook page become a friend today and encourage others to sign up for our free email newsletter.

The study of history reveals that there were many times throughout time akin to what we are presently experiencing. For example, there was a period when Easter was only able to be celebrated by people in private homes, sometimes “underground”, shut out of public access to their churches. It is amazing that their faith didn’t falter during those difficult times. I, for one, will not be able to attend church this Easter or be with my extended family, which is a reality for many of us. Easter has never been stopped for over 2,000 years. Easter is holiday many of us cherish and will obviously look and feel vastly different from last year. Keep the faith, count your blessings, and celebrate Easter with our Italian traditions which are a source of comfort when we face uncertainty.

In closing I want you to know that I miss seeing and hearing from you. Hold on to hope. Please be sure to look at the video, “Rinascero, Rinascerai (I’ll be reborn, You’ll be reborn)”, that I posted on our website. It will definitely lift your spirits. On behalf of the AIHA&M Officers and Board, we wish each of you a very blessed Buona Pasqua.

SOURCE: American Italian Heritage Museum

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