“On this day, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all the Italians around the world. Through their work, their dedication and their deep-rooted spirit of sacrifice across the years, our communities abroad have proven to be a precious resource and reason of pride for our Country,” said the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Angelino Alfano, at the celebration of the 110th anniversary of the mining disaster at Monongah, the greatest work-related tragedy in the history of Italian emigration, in which 171 Italians lost their lives.
Minister Alfano continued: “Today, commemorating the fellow Italians that died at Monongah primarily means to reflect on the complex history of our emigration, which has also been marked by great sacrifice. The commemoration of this tragic event cannot only renew sentiments of sadness and suffering. It must also pay tribute to the wish of redemption and to the extraordinary fortitude with which so many Italians left their Country in the pursuit of a better future. Determination and perseverance are still now significant and qualifying traits of our communities abroad, that I have had the opportunity to meet during my institutional missions.”
He concluded: “The memory of the protagonists of these pages of Italian history is back at the centre of attention today that Italians are starting to emigrate abroad again.”