US President Donald Trump issued a proclamation to mark Columbus Day, which is celebrated on Monday.
“More than 500 years ago, Christopher Columbus’s courageous journey to the New World ushered in a new era of exploration and discovery. His travels led to contacts between Europe and America, and a century later – to the appearance of the first settlements on the shores of the modern United States. Today we celebrate Columbus Day to honor the memory of the great Italian, who opened a new chapter in world history, and to appreciate his enduring importance for the Western Hemisphere, ”the president’s proclamation says.
“When Christopher Columbus and his crew crossed the Atlantic Ocean in the ships Niña, Pinta and Santa Maria, it marked the beginning of a new era in human history. For Italian Americans [биография] Christopher Columbus represents one of the first of Italy’s many immeasurable contributions to American history. A native of Genoa, Columbus inspired the first Italian immigrants to carry their rich heritage to the New World. Today, the United States enjoys the warmth and generosity of nearly 17 million Italians in America, whose love for family and country strengthens the material of our nation. For our wonderful Italian-American communities, as for Americans of all backgrounds, Columbus remains a legendary figure. “
“Unfortunately, in recent years, radical activists have tried to belittle the legacy of Christopher Columbus,” Trump’s address continues. Rather than drawing lessons from our history, this radical ideology and its adherents seek to rewrite it, dignify it and present it in a dark light. They seek to suppress any disagreement with their ideology. We must not succumb to these tactics or accept such a gloomy view of our history. We must educate future generations about our legendary heritage, starting with protecting monuments to our brave heroes like Columbus. In June of this year, I signed a decree guaranteeing that all individuals or groups who destroy or deface federal monuments, memorials or statues will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. ”
“I have also taken steps to ensure that we preserve the history of our country and cultivate patriotic education. In July, I signed another decree: building and restoring monuments to iconic American figures in the National Garden of American Heroes. In September, I announced the creation of the 1776 Commission that will encourage our educators to educate our children about the miracle of American history and honor the founding of our country. In addition, last month I signed a decree designed to eradicate the proliferation of racist concepts in federal institutions, many of which are based on the same revisionist story that seeks to erase Christopher Columbus from our national heritage. Together we must defend our history and stop this new wave of iconoclasm by opposing those who sow hatred and schism. “
“On this Columbus Day, we profess the same optimism that led Christopher Columbus to the discovery of the New World. We inherited that optimism, as well as the legacy of American heroes who blazed trails, populated the continent, tamed the desert and built the greatest nation the world has ever seen. ”
“I encourage the people of the United States to celebrate this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities. I also order that the United States flag be displayed on all public buildings on a designated date in honor of our diverse history and all who have contributed to the formation of this nation, ”reads the concluding part of the presidential proclamation.
Former US Vice President and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden also made a statement but dedicated it to Indigenous Peoples Day, which is also now celebrated on October 12.
“Native Americans have always respected their deep connection to the land and kept faith in the rich spiritual traditions and heritage of their ancestors, often in the face of politics and violence that were designed to deprive them of both,” Biden said.
“With endless resilience and strength, despite centuries of abuse and broken promises, tribal communities fought to preserve their sovereign rights while contributing immeasurably to strengthening the character of the United States, including the famous Native American cryptographers who played a decisive role in defeating fascism in the Second world war, and the activity and leadership of Native American women, and more. This is a part of our history that every American should learn and respect. “
“Our country has never fully fulfilled its promise of equality for all, especially when it comes to the rights of the indigenous people who lived here long before the ships arrived from Europe. Today, we again see the full impact of the injustice that has long held back tribal peoples as the pandemic hits indigenous communities at an alarming and disproportionate rate. We must not let this unfulfilled promise continue to maintain unequal results for the next generation of our indigenous youth. ”
“As President, I will place tribal sovereignty and fulfillment of our federal obligations to tribal communities at the heart of federal policy towards American Indians. I will support self-determination and promote self-government. I am proud of the detailed plan I have outlined for strengthening interethnic relations, building on the progress we made together under the Obama-Biden administration. ”
“My plan,” Joe Biden continued, “includes the transfer of additional land into trust and the protection of our natural and cultural values; increasing investment in schools, roads, housing, clean water and broadband Internet connections, creating well-paid jobs; tackling the widespread problem of the disappearances and killings of indigenous women; and increased funding for the Indian Health Service. This plan finally makes this funding mandatory. “
“On this Indigenous Day,” Joe Biden concluded his address, “we must acknowledge the past that brought us here and promise each other to write a new future – full of hope, partnership and equal opportunity for the proud tribal people of our country.”