The following announcement was provided by the Watertown Sons of Italy:
Scores of Italians from many Italian organizations assembled peacefully at Columbus Delta in Watertown Square for a wreath presentation. As statues and monuments are being defaced and torn down, this Columbus Day the members of the Watertown Lodge Piave Fiume #1036 of the Order Sons and Daughters of Italy in America united to honor the great explorer who brought the new world to everyone, Christopher Columbus.
The monument on the delta was originally proposed by the Watertown Knights of Columbus, Council #155 with support from the Watertown Sons of Italy. The delta name of “Columbus Delta” was approved by the Watertown Board of Selectmen with the dedication on October 12, 1940.
The monument is a tribute to Christopher Columbus for his four grand voyages. Engraved on the stone is the phrase, “He gained a world. He gave that world. It’s grandest lesson. On! Sail On!”
2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the Watertown Sons of Italy. Although all the celebrations have been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is ironic that a group of Italian immigrants started the lodge in 1920, and now 100 years later a similar group is fighting to keep their Italian pride, heritage and traditions alive.
“This year more than ever, Italians need to come together and celebrate their heritage,” says Antonio Mastantuono, President of the Watertown Sons & Daughters of Italy, “Instead of tearing down history we must celebrate it. We must educate each other, Italian and non-Italian alike. Italians have brought so much to America from the arts, science, culture, food, music and more. None of this culture would be possible if it wasn’t for Christopher Columbus.”
In 1892, President Benjamin Harrison issued a proclamation encouraging Americans to mark the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ voyage writing, “On that day let the people, so far as possible, cease from toil and devote themselves to such exercises as may best express honor to the discoverer and their appreciation of the great achievements.” And in 1937, President
Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed the second Monday in October as Columbus Day a federal holiday.
About the Organization
The Watertown Sons of Italy is a non-profit, 501(c)8 fraternal organization established in 1920. It is an affiliate lodge of the Order Sons and Daughters of Italy in America. It provides a place for members and their families to celebrate the Italian Heritage, socialize, enjoy activities, and raise funds to support educational and charitable causes. It holds several social events during the year for members and non- members alike. Membership is open to everyone. More complete information about the organization is available at www.WatertownSonsofItaly.org.