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Laura Curran: Happy Indigenous Peoples Day

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran at Mitchel Field

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran at Mitchel Field in Uniondale on July 30. Credit: Jessica Rotkiewicz

On Monday, Democratic Nassau County Executive Laura Curran tweeted and posted on Facebook, “Today is a day for celebration: we honor & recognize #NassauCounty’s #Italian-Americans & #Indigenous Peoples. May we never forget #LongIsland’s rich cultures & history. #IndigenousPeoplesDay.”

Monday is Columbus Day in New York and on Long Island. Columbus Day became a national holiday in 1937 to recognize Italian explorer Christopher Columbus, but some cities in other parts of the country have renamed the holiday Indigenous Peoples Day to honor American Indians .

“She doesn’t mention the name,” complained Legis. John Ferretti, Jr. (R-Levittown) “Today’s the day to celebrate Italian-American heritage and Italian-American accomplishments, and Columbus is one of those Italian-Americans.”

“We need to stop with political correctness and honor our history,” Ferretti said. “We have to make sure we keep history alive. Part of that is honoring Christopher Columbus and other historical figures.”

Ferretti added, “Last time I checked the calendar, the county is closed today for Columbus Day.”

Curran spokeswoman Karen Contino said, "It is still Columbus Day, or course. But the spirit of the day has evolved to celebrate the proud Italian-Americans who have built this country, as well as the Native Americans who were here long before Christopher Columbus.”

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