Pre-COVID-19 I’ll be honest, I’m not sure I could have told you who Dr. Fauci was. Post COVID-19 Dr. Fauci is a household name. Which is precisely why I love seeing a video of Dr. Fauci’s remarks thanking Governor Baker for honoring him during Italian American Heritage and Culture Month this October. They are personal.
Dr. Fauci is easily one of the most influential (Italian) Americans in the American today. What’s beautiful to see is that both America and Italy celebrate Dr. Fauci for his leadership.
Fauci fans might appreciate seeing a little more of his family history in the video below with i-Italy.
Another admission, I didn’t know October was Italian American Heritage month until I married an Italian, helped him become an American, and subsequently became an American Italian myself. Part of my responsibility as an American Italian is learning both sides of my new identity. Which led me down my most recent research rabbit hole.
October is Italian American Heritage Month
Curious to know more, I researched Dr. fauci himself, but also when and who started Italian American Heritage month and why October specifically. That curiosity led me to one, very delightful realization.
President Obama Declared October Italian American Heritage Month in 2010
Paolo was sworn in as an American citizen under President Trump. However, President Obama’s photos and videos to welcome new citizens were, and to the best of my knowledge still are in use today. It is rather poetic to realize I have President Obama to thank for honoring both sides of my family history and future.
Proclamation 8585 Italian American Heritage and Culture Month, signed in 2010 by President Barack Obama
Celebrating Italian American Heritage & Culture Month Virtually
Looking for virtual ways to celebrate Italian American Heritage and Culture month? PIB and the Italian Heritage Month committee are hosting a virtual celebration. The event “What Columbus Day Means to Italian Americans” is being held via zoom today (October 12) at 6pm EST. For more details or to join the zoom celebration visit PI Boston Events Site here!
Need a little more notice? The National Italian American Foundation is hosting a virtual 45th Anniversary Gala on Saturday, October 31, to honor Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, with the 2020 Leonardo da Vinci Award for Leadership in Health and Science. Guest stars for the evening include the Russo Brothers, John Turturro, Isabella Rossellini, Lidia Bastianich, Joe Mantega, Alan Alda, and more!
Here’s the details for ticket info:
On social follow or post your own stories using #ItalianAmericanHeritageMonth or #ItalianHeritageMonth.
What Italian American Heritage Month Means on a Personal Note
Paolo and I have often talked about how Italians were first treated when immigrating to America back in 1880. They faced racial, social and religious discrimination to the point of persecution. Yet, Italians still found their way in America by believing in the American dream. As a result, Italians are now not only accepted but celebrated as part of the fabric of America.
Leadership from Italian Americans like Dr. Anthony Fauci is built on the shoulders of these immigrants.
I’m proud to be an American citizen. I’m also proud to be an Italian citizen. Above all, I’m exceedingly proud of my Italian American husband. I saw first hand his grit and determination over six full years to ensure we both gained dual citizenship. Now on this, my first year as an American Italian Citizen, living in Italy… with my Italian American husband, I’m pretty sure we should open a bottle of red and toast Dr. Anthony Fauci tonight, don’t you?
You can bet, we’ll be looking back tonight on these! Memories of our journey to becoming dual Italian American and American Italian citizens.
Italian Citizenship Oath Ceremony Video
American Citizenship Oath Ceremony Photos
To Paolo, Amore mio, I owe you so much. Thank you for showing grit, determination, and fighting for our right to dual citizenship.