Friday, October 12, 2007

Another snub: what else is new in Kenosha?

Today's Kenosha News has a nice feature article about the Piazza Cosenza supposedly honoring this community's early immigrants, especially Italian-Americans.

The story also makes significant mention of a statute of Christopher Columbus, who already has a city park and a school named after him.

Conspicuous by its absence is any mention of a real immigrant hero of this community, Antonio Pingitore, Kenosha's first Italian-American police officer and the first Kenosha police officer to be killed in the line of duty.

On March 31, 1919 Officer Pingitore was gunned down at a service station by a group of suspected robbers who had stopped there for directions. This happened just after he received a signal from a kidnapped cab driver that the men were armed.

Although the community supported the Pingitore family at the time, it's not just a pity -- it's an inexcusable shame and snub to the Italian-American community that our city continues to trivialize Officer Pingitore's contribution. Naming a park and a school after Christopher Columbus and building a statute of him is the easy way out. Honoring a hometown hero requires a little more thinking and effort -- something that seems to be in increasing short supply.

And what's worse is that the chief drum banger in today's newspaper article is none other than Alderman G. John Ruffolo. You'd think a guy named Ruffolo would be on top of this. You'd think.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

On behalf of the Pingitore Family in Kenosha (we're all Antonio's descendents), thank you for the kind words. I've heard a variety of discussions over the years relative to some recognition in his honor. There was an effort to name a city park in his honor, initiated by the KPPA and supported by the Italian American. Two independent nominations to name the Brass Site School after him were also made. Unfortunately, none of these efforts have borne fruit. But all of us remain proud of him, and honored to have him as an ancestor. He was quite the guy! Thanks again.

Peter F. Pingitore, Sr.
Kenosha, WI

Ralph Nudi said...
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