The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) proudly participated in and sponsored the Sicily 1943 Peace, Security & Prosperity Conference, held in Catania, Italy at the Museo Storico dello Sbarco in Sicilia 1943, to mark the 80th anniversary of the Allied Landings in Sicily during WWII. The conference, organized to promote appropriate remembrance of the historic event, fostered collaboration among local and international dignitaries, and aimed to build enduring relationships between Sicily, Italy, and their counterparts in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Joseph Lonardo, General Consul of NIAF and a proud Sicilian American, represented the organization and delivered a speech at the conference, emphasizing the shared history and cultural heritage between Sicily and the United States. Lonardo's presence highlighted the common bonds between the people of Sicily and their counterparts in the international community.
The Sicily 1943 Peace, Security & Prosperity Conference witnessed the gathering of esteemed international dignitaries, including the British Ambassador to Italy Rt. Hon. Edward Llewellyn, the U.S. Consul General in Naples Tracy Roberts-Pounds, officials from Ireland, Canada, and Italy, and even Helen Patton, the granddaughter of General George S. Patton. This diverse representation of leaders from around the world underscored the conference's commitment to fostering global cooperation and understanding.
In addition to its active participation in the conference, NIAF hosted an exclusive private dinner at the renowned Me Cumpari Turiddu restaurant in Catania. The dinner provided a unique opportunity for networking and camaraderie among the distinguished guests. The presence of influential figures from various countries and Patton further deepened the connections forged during the conference.
"The Sicily 1943 Peace, Security & Prosperity Conference served as a significant platform for honoring the Allied Landings in Sicily and advancing collaboration among nations," stated Joseph Lonardo. "NIAF is proud to have played a pivotal role in advancing dialogue and cultivating long-lasting connections in the international community."
The city of Catania collaborated with the international conference, which included the active involvement of Mayor Enrico Trantino and representatives from Regione Sicilia. Throughout the conference, attendees had the opportunity to watch a series of documentaries and enjoy performances by the Banda della Brigata Aosta and the Orchestra and Chorus of Teatro Bellini of Catania.
NIAF remains committed to its mission of preserving and promoting the Italian American heritage while advocating cultural exchange and collaboration on an international scale. The foundation's active involvement in events like the Sicily 1943 Peace, Security & Prosperity Conference underscores its dedication to bridging communities and celebrating shared history.