The City of Rochester on Thursday re-dedicated the monument of a World War I cannon in Washington Square Park.
The cannon was originally a gift to the city from Italy in 1921, in recognition of more than 1,400 young men of Italian descent from Rochester who fought in what has also been called “The Great War.”
The cannon was captured by the Italian Army in 1918. It had fallen into disrepair and was moved into storage several years ago, but it has now been restored and it faces Court Street.
Local restaurant owner Mario Daniele has been supportive of the project. He also holds the honorary title of Vice Consul of Italy, and he’s glad this statue is back at Washington Square Park.
“If we talked to the people who died 30 years ago, they probably knew all about it. But the new generation, how are they going to know what this is about. If you drive by here, which I have many times, I never knew that this was an Italian monument,” Daniele told WXXI News.
City Commissioner of Environmental Services Norman Jones says this was a worthwhile investment.
“It was important that the city kept its commitment to keep the legacy alive of what these young men from Italian descent and American descent did, back almost 100 years ago to make sure that we had freedom.”
The restoration cost around $28,000 dollars, which Jones says was a lot less than some previous bids the city received.
Additionally, The Washington Square Park Neighborhood Association has been awarded a $15,000 grant from the Community Foundation to develop a master plan for the park.