PUEBLO – In March, The State of Colorado designated the first Monday in October, Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini Day. The Federal Government still recognizes the second Monday as Columbus Day and a Federal Holiday.
Mayor Nick Gradisar issued the following statement on Colorado Holiday Cabrini Day ahead of the Federal Holiday Columbus Day:
I want to recognize those early Pueblo-Italian families who fought for acceptance as Americans and their contributions today. Past generations came from the old world to seek new opportunities and prosperity in the 21st century.
We must never forget what Mother Cabrini said on the treatment of Italian-American workers, "Few regard him with a sympathetic eye, care for him or remember that he has a heart and a soul: they merely look upon him as an ingenious machine for work."
Mother Cabrini is the patron saint of immigrants and if not for those early immigrants, the Colorado Fuel & Iron would not have flourished, and Pueblo would not have become an example of American industry. But their contribution goes beyond working in the mills and the mines; Italian-Americans contributed to a rich and vibrant culture found nowhere else in the world – this is Pueblo's unique culture.
Pueblo's melting pot mentality is the American story of coming together to form a more perfect community both at the workplace and at home.
As we work to resolve these two days and conflicting history, let us not forget what History Colorado said, "The well-deserved recognition due Colorado's Italians has been endangered by the evolving reputation of Christopher Columbus."
Let us take this time to recognize Italian-Americans' contributions, their dedication to family, their industry to build a new America, and their bravery to fight for equality and acceptance.
Pueblo remembers and honors the contributions of our Italian-American families of yesterday, today, and tomorrow.