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THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2016 www.italoamericano.org 3 O n Monday August 29 th , Mayor Eric Garcetti, C o u n c i l m a n J o e Buscaino and Italian Consul General Antonio Verde, together w i t h t h e L o s A n g e l e s I t a l o - American community, organized a candlelight vigil on the steps of City Hall to pay tribute to the victims of the recent earthquake in central Italy and raise aware- ness for relief efforts. "The thoughts and prayers of everyone in Los Angeles are with the Italian people. We have a strong and historic bond with them, and are all-too-familiar with the enormously difficult a f t e r m a t h o f a m a j o r e a r t h - q u a k e , " s t a t e d M a y o r E r i c Garcetti on his official Facebook page, "Lighting City Hall in the c o l o r s o f t h e i r n a t i o n ' s f l a g tonight is a symbol of our com- mitment to stand with them in a time of sorrow, loss, and recov- ery." An earthquake, measuring 6.2 on the moment magnitude scale, hit Central Italy on the 24 th of August at 3:36 am. Its e p i c e n t e r w a s c l o s e t o Accumoli, with its hypocenter approximately 47 miles south- east of Perugia and 28 miles north of L'Aquila, in an area near the borders of the Umbria, L a z i o , A b r u z z o a n d M a r c h e regions. "The earthquake that shook central Italy on August 24 th and that continues to rock that entire region with almost twenty five hundred aftershocks in these past five days certainly fits the description of 'worst event', as it is one of the most horrible natur- al disasters to strike our country with widespread destruction and a d e a t h t o l l t h a t i s s t e a d i l y c l i m b i n g , " C o n s u l G e n e r a l Antonio Verde shared with the crowd gathered on the steps of City Hall, "This is something with which Californians can truly empathize, no matter the distance." To date, at least 292 people have been killed and dozens more are missing, the heaviest death toll being in Amatrice, a picturesque Italian mountain town and home to the beloved "Spaghetti all'Amatriciana" food festival. Amatriciana, a tradi- tional Italian pasta sauce based on guanciale (cured pork cheek), pecorino cheese and tomato is o n e o f t h e b e s t k n o w n p a s t a sauces in Roman and Italian cui- sine. In honor of this signature dish, many Italian restaurants nationwide have already begun earthquake fundraising efforts by o f f e r i n g t h e i r o w n s p a g h e t t i all'amatriciana specials to their patrons. Joining forces locally to help their Italian brothers and sisters in need as they did in 2009 after the L'Aquila earthquake, the Federated Italo-Americans, an umbrella organization uniting over 130 Italian heritage organi- zations in Southern California, are also calling upon each other t o b e g i n v a r i o u s e a r t h q u a k e fundraising efforts. "Since they have been the first point of con- tact for survivors during this dis- aster, urgent priority is to sup- p o r t t h e I t a l i a n R e d C r o s s , " explains Federated President Ann Potenza, "Once we know what is needed, additional funds will be raised to assist with their rebuilding efforts." Originally from Bari, Italy and attending the vigil with her husband Pasquale, Maria Bruno, P r e s i d e n t o f S a n P a d r e P i o Society at St. Peter's Italian Church could not hold back tears as she reflected on the tragedy in her homeland, "This is very hard f o r u s , b u t o u r h e a r t i s w i t h I t a l y . " A s i m i l a r s e n t i m e n t expressed by others in atten- dance. Surrounded on the City Hall steps by his Italian-born parents and the many Italians who live i n h i s S a n P e d r o d i s t r i c t , Councilman Joe Buscaino led the candlelight vigil with gentle demeanor, yet somber words, " W e m u s t a l l o w t h i s I t a l i a n tragedy to serve as a sobering reminder for Angelenos about the realities of living in an earth- quake zone. Earthquakes the size of the Italy quake occur several times a month around the world - so they are not rare events. In fact, there have been over fifty large earthquakes around the w o r l d t h i s y e a r a l o n e ! T h i s Italian earthquake reminds us that even nations with sophisti- cated disaster preparedness and world-class building codes need to realize that much more work remains to be done. I would also like to remind everyone here and those watching that the best way to help the Italian victims is to donate to the Italian Red Cross, Save the Children and the Italian Relief Fund." A s t h e e v e n i n g d r e w t o a close with a final prayer from Monsignor Antonio Cacciapuoti of St. Bede's Church, the glow of green, white and red lights on City Hall surrounded the com- munity as a temporary blanket of comfort as they raised their can- dles up to the sky in remem- b r a n c e o f t h e v i c t i m s . D i o benedica l'Italia! Praying for Italy: A Candlelight Vigil at City Hall ANN POTENZA Lightning City Hall in the colors of Italy's nation flag is a symbol of our commitment to stand with them in a time of sorrow, loss and recovery, stated Mayor Eric Garcetti A candlelight vigil on the steps of City Hall was organized to pay tribu- te to the victims of the recent earthquake in central Italy and raise awareness for relief efforts LOS ANGELES ITALIAN COMMUNITY

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