County officials raise flag for Italian Heritage Month
WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NY – The Italian flag now flies over a particularly suitable spot in the Hudson Valley.
On Tuesday afternoon, elected officials including County Executive George Latimer, County Clerk Tim Idoni and White Plains Mayor Thomas Roach were on hand when the Italian flag was hoisted at Kensico Dam Plaza to honor the Month of Italian heritage. In addition to the flag ceremony and the honor of the American flag with the national anthem, speakers repeatedly stressed the importance of the Westchester monument to the Italian-American community.
Event organizers note that nearly 21,000 residents of Westchester speak Italian at home, making it the third most spoken language in the county after English and Spanish and that around 37% of residents county are of Italian descent. These impressive numbers might not have been the case, without an ambitious construction project conceived over a century ago.
Showing the dam behind him, Latimer noted that Italian immigrants were largely responsible for building what was, at the time, the largest structure of its kind in New York City.
Idoni shared a more personal connection to the stone dam that held back a substantial reserve of New York City’s water supply.
“I cry a little every time I come here because my grandfather, Vincenzo Idoni was one of the stonemasons who built this structure,” said the former mayor of New Rochelle.