By Tim Jimenez

By Tim Jimenez

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — There were two wreath laying ceremonies to commemorate Columbus Day in the city this morning.

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A group, including the Consul General of Italy and City Councilman Mark Squilla placed the wreath in front of the Columbus statue in Marconi Plaza. Members of The State Lodge of Pennsylvania, Order Sons of Italy in America (OSIA) were also present.

(credit: Tim Jimenez)

(credit: Tim Jimenez)

Squilla spoke of having great pride on this holiday.

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“From the past to the present. What Italian-Americans have meant, not only to the city of Philadelphia but to this great country. I think it’s an honor as an Italian-American myself to be here.”

As for honoring Columbus, whose legacy has become more nuanced through the years: Heroic explorer on one side of the coin, destroyer of the indigenous peoples on the other. Squilla says the country already recognizes those with a complicated past.

“We hear the same thing about our first presidents owning slaves. I mean, at that time, their mindset was different and didn’t understand the ramifications of what they were doing and we progressed past that.”

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