Ellis Island Medal of Honor

Group:
Ellis Island Medal of Honor - Grandpa
Ellis Island Medal of Honor - Grandpa

My great grandparents Saverio and Josephina Colavita came to America in 1932. They left Santa Lea, Italy.  Although they knew it would be a very hard time to earn money, it still was more hopeful than their life in Italy.  In Italy, there was a lot of poverty and little hope for the future. Like most Italians at this time, they came through Ellis Island.  My great grandfather believed hard work would pay off. He was a gardener and my great grandmother a seamstress.  When Italian immigrants came to New York, my Great Grandparents would help them. My grandfather became a lawyer. He modeled his life after my great grandfather. He became involved in charities that helped immigrants from Italy. My grandfather passed on his work ethic and dedication to helping Italians to his son, my uncle Tony.  In 1995 my grandfather, Anthony Colavita received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. In 2002 my uncle, Anthony Colavita Jr, received the medal.  This medal is given to people who have spent their lives giving back and helping those of their ethnic heritage. These medals are proudly displayed in my grandparent's home. On holidays, my grandmother always makes a big deal about them. They are a reminder of how hard my family worked and made it a part of their lives to give back. My grandfather’s medal will be passed down to my family. The memories of their hard work will always be constant in my mind. My mom always says that it was my great grandfather who worked hard long hours of tough physical labor that has enabled us and many other Italian American families to be where we are today.

Place(s): Italy, New York City, Eastchester
Year: 1932

– WJL

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more