BINGHAMTON, NY – The City of Binghamton sent a clear message today that it is fully committed to continuing to honor the legacy of Christopher Columbus.

As is tradition, the Italian flag was raised outside of City Hall this morning to honor the explorer’s Italian heritage.

Members of the local Italian-American community were on hand and former Tri-Cities Opera singer Gina Moscato sang a famous Puccini aria.

Mayor Rich David presented the key to the city to Monsignor John Putano from Saint Patrick’s Church.

At a time when many communities are changing the name of the holiday from Columbus Day to Indigenous People’s Day in honor of the native people who were already in the Western Hemisphere when Columbus made his voyage, the city issued a full-throated defense of Columbus.

“Christopher Columbus will always be an important historical figure because of his courage and conviction. His discovery of the New World has brought about changes that have impacted every culture on the planet,” says Bucci.

After the flag raising, members of the Italian-American community placed a wreath at the Christopher Columbus statue outside of the domed courthouse downtown.

Binghamton police officers were stationed near the statue which has been vandalized on or around Columbus Day in recent years.

There was also a larger than normal police presence at the Columbus Day Parade this morning in

Binghamton after social justice protestors disrupted the parade in 2019.