Today would have been my Dad's 76th anniversary of landing at Utah Beach in Normandy. He passed away on May 13th at the age of 95. He was seriously wounded somewhere between that landing and the Battle of Cherbourg. He rarely spoke of his experience, probably due to a combination of PTSD and memory loss due to a massive concussive injury to his head. It is for this reason that I woke this morning thinking about my Dad. Unfortunately, a despicable act by the "woke mob" has desecrated a symbol of pride for many Italians and my father's legacy along with it.
For the second time in five years, the Christopher Columbus statue in Boston's North End has been vandalized. In June of 2015, it was smeared with red paint and the words "Black Lives Matter." Last night, it was decapitated. My Dad contributed in our family's name to help make this tribute to Italian Americans possible. His name is chiseled into the base along with his college buddy and lifelong friend Anthony Cipriano. Both men were not wealthy, but they wanted to support a worthy project that nearly failed before private citizens contributed and rescued the effort.
The first time the statue was defiled, the City of Boston had it repaired and cleaned. This time, Mayor Marty Walsh has decided to place the statue into storage and a decision will be made later as to its future. I'm afraid that white marble monument may never see the light of day again. The permanent stare of Columbus may never again gaze out at the Atlantic. I miss my Dad so much that my heart aches, but I'm glad he's not alive to see this latest attack on his ethnic heritage and free speech. He fought so that millions could freely and peacefully express their opinions. He defended people's right to disagree publicly with their government without the fear of retribution. He fought to stop ideological mobs from smashing store windows, destroying art, burning houses of worship, and killing those in the name of ethnic and ideological "purity." He carried the physical scars of the fight against intolerance all of his life.
Sadly, Mayor Walsh has succumbed to the very same tactics employed by fascists that my Father fought in WWII. Walsh is not standing up to the lawless destruction of an expression of free speech, art, and ethnic pride. Instead, he has publicly acquiesced to vandals who violently and secretly strike in the cover of night.
(Getty Images North America)