I know that in the first couple of classes we discussed Christopher Columbus but I waited to write my blog for this week knowing that today I would be one of the many to gather in front of the Rawlings Library, Many of us Italian Americans gathered before the Christopher Columbus statue this morning. We gathered to reflect on the hardships our ancestors endured. We gathered to honor our heritage, and to grow closer in community. We gathered to remember where we came from and to thank God for where we are now. We were greeted this morning with hateful slurs such as “Go back to Italy!” And “Your culture is poison!” But we will not stop gathering. Columbus Day is our day! Columbus Day is our day to celebrate our heritage and to celebrate that we are Americans! Today is the day we celebrate in thanksgiving that our home is here, in the United States. Our ancestors experienced hate when they came here. And if we’re going to start experiencing hate now, we’re going to fight it with love, peace, and hard work; just like our ancestors taught us! We are proud of who we are, and we are proud of where we came from. Hatred, ignorance, and bigotry will not suffocate our pride we have in our heritage, faith, and American patriotism. Happy Columbus Day my friends!