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UNICO National Celebrates Columbus Day

Mindy Scarlett

Sunday, October 7, 2012 • 8:57pm

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ – UNICO National is the largest Italian-American Organization in the United States, with a slogan of “Service Above Self”.  They held their annual Columbus Day ceremony in front of the Scotch Plains City Hall.

The hand holding the globe is a familiar site in front of City Hall.  However, not everyone has had the chance to go up and read the fine print on the plaque and understand this the sculpture is a celebration of Christopher Columbus and his historic journey to the Americas.  "it is fitting that we honor Christopher Columbus. He was a man of vision. His tenacity, his persistence, his dedication to hard work enabled him to discover the new world.  Those traits made this country the greatest in the history of mankind." said Mayor Mary DePaola.

The name UNICO is the Italian word for unique, one of a kind. The founders believed that UNICO would be the only one of its kind because it placed service to the community before and above fraternity. At the same time they hoped that the rest of society would come to know and understand the real contributions of Italian-Americans to our way of life. Its sole purpose was to unite all Italian Americans and motivate them to become more civic minded. In the ensuing years UNICO became an acronym that stood for Unity, Neighborliness, Integrity, Charity, and Opportunity.

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