After explaining to many Italian co-workers last night that the 4th of July is not the holiday that we eat turkey (then consequently having to explain why we eat turkey on Thanksgiving and what we are thankful for, which is tricky in English, let alone my not-great Italian), we are amazingly closed on this 4th of July, as it is a Wednesday. Tonight, we have a BBQ plan with the other American girls who live here - all 5 of us - and I am running now to La Spezia with Manuel to pick up the thing that will make the party.
A case of Budweiser.
But, besides that, I started to think about this holiday and what it means for my family. The story goes that many, many years ago when my Great-Grandmother, Maria Panzarella, came from her little village in Calabria to the United States, the ship arrived on the 4th of July. They had to stay on the boat, as the offices in Ellis Island were closed to process the immigrants for the holiday. She stayed on the boat, in the harbor, and one of the first things she saw in the United States was fireworks over the Statue of Liberty, in New York City, in her new country and home.
I don't know if this story is entirely true, or a figment of my childhood overactive imagination, and it's too early in the USA to call my mom and confirm it, but I know that this is a day that she loved, and one my Grandma loved to celebrate as well. Even I, having left the country, have a very big, special place in my heart for the 4th of July.