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Well I'm Proud To Be An Sicilian-American!

I am proud of all my different heritages but am more vocal about only one of them, my Italian (Sicilian) heritage. This branch of my family tree is the newest branch to come to America. From that branch, I am only a third generation American even though other branches have been in America before it became The United States.

There are a few things that I regret that I have not done to fully explore my heritage. Sure, I have taken an Italian language class in college but they taught the Roman dialect. I even spent a week in Italy but the only cities I saw were Rome and Florence, now do not get me wrong they are both beautiful city and I loved them both but they are not Sicily or more to the point Palermo. The best thing is that I can change both of those examples! The thing I cannot change is that growing up I never heard any of the family stories from before coming to America. I was the one in the family that found out that there is a town in the province of Palermo with the same name as our surname. All everyone else knew was that the matriarch of the family came from the town of Caccamo. I am not sure why no one seems to know about the patriarch of the family. The only thing I can think of is that my Great Grandmother married two brothers (her cousins) and both of them died fairly young, so the focus of the family was more on her.

I have heard family stories about our life in America. Such as that, my Great Grandmother never learned to read or write English, and that she use to draw pictures of what she wanted to buy for the grocery story. The closest to any story of Italy is one of my Great Uncle through marriage. He was born in the US although his parents were from Italy. When his father made enough money, he moved his family back to Italy. My Great Uncle had to serve in the Italian military just before the US got involved in WW II. When his service was over, he moved back to the US. After the US joined in the war, he was asked to join the US military. He said no not, because he did not love this country but because he was afraid that he would be sent back to Italy and have to kill his friends and family that were still there.

So what I have done to further the history of my Italian heritage. I married a lovely woman who also happens to be half-Italian (Sicilian); I did not marry her because she is Italian that was just a bonus. I am only a quarter-Italian so our children are more Italian than I am. We have tried to teach our children about their heritage and why they should be proud of it. We have a joke in the family that there are only two types of people in the world those who are Italian and those who want to be Italian.
rtamason rtamason 46-50, M Sep 30, 2011

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