Albany, NY - October 13, 2014 - “Columbus Day is a time to celebrate the achievements of those who came before us – immigrants who faced untold hardships throughout history, yet persevered to build the world we inhabit today. From language barriers to harsh labor conditions, those men and women surmounted every hurdle to become a dynamic force in society.
“Here in New York we take great pride in that enduring legacy, because our state truly is the gateway to the world. The Columbus Day parade – the world’s largest celebration of Italian-American heritage – began here in 1929, and today it is another example of how we find community in our diversity.
“As the grandchild of four Italian immigrants, I am extremely proud of my heritage and the values of family, hard work, and the promise of American opportunity that my grandparents passed along. This Columbus Day, I encourage all New Yorkers to reflect on the legacies of those who came before us and built the Empire State we know today. May we follow their example and leave a New York State that is even better for our children."