PARSIPPANY, NJ - Parsippany's Christopher Columbus Statue's demonstration brought an energized crowd on Friday, June 26th to the location of the bust on Rt. 46.
Albeit spirited, the event was peaceful as anticipated. As the almost 30 demonstrators read off their narratives as to why the statue should be removed, over 125 counter demonstrators also arrived who were composed of members of the Sons of Italy, Knights of Columbus, East Hanover Italian American Club, Unico and concerned members of the community.
The people who came together in support of the statue, said they were there to show of symbol of unity and that they wanted to send a clear and strong message of support for retaining this very important symbol of the Italian heritage.
One of the speakers opposed to keeping the statue erect, Brooklyn College history professor Carli Snyder, spoke of her own Italian heritage and how she felt history had been distorted over the years, "Columbus has been constructed as a symbol over time."
Parsippany's finest, the police department, did a fantastic job of managing the event, traffic control and crowd control assuring there were no problems throughout the scene, even though they were surrounded by some signs that read "Defund the Police".
Although Mayor Soriano was not present for the event, Council President Michael dePierro attended. He issued the following statement:
"Parsippany UNICO was an active Italian-American organization in Parsippany during the 1970’s, 1980’s and 1990’s. One of our many projects was to erect a statue of Christopher Columbus. The UNICO members viewed the explorer positively and with pride. Columbus’ voyage made the old and new worlds aware of each other for the first time, eventually leading to the new countries in the western hemisphere. Driven in large part by political correctness, activists and wannabe activists have challenged most of our history and those who were a part of that history. The wannabe critics of Christopher Columbus rely upon a warped and inaccurate rendition of Columbus. Their misguided effort has recently focused on removing Parsippany’s Statue.When is it appropriate to purge statues and monuments that some people find offensive? Should every tribute to someone who was flawed be destroyed? Christopher Columbus was a man with many flaws … granted. But his journey changed the trajectory of our world.In any case, the Sons of Italy from many lodges; the Knights of Columbus; and many concerned citizens (some not even of Italian decent), got together today to tell the wannabes to leave our statue alone!"