Give credit where it’s due

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I was ap­palled by the gross dis­tor­tion of facts in “A mu­ral for me­mo­rial men” [Metro, Sept. 2]. The ar­ti­cle about a mu­ral re­cently in­stalled near Union Sta­tion paid trib­ute to the African Amer­i­can men who “carved the mar­ble from moun­tains in north­west­ern Ge­or­gia” and “built the 120-ton statue” of Abra­ham Lin­coln in his iconic me­mo­rial, not­ing that “many were the chil­dren of slaves.” Buried deep in the ar­ti­cle we learn that “Ital­ian im­mi­grants also helped build the statue, which was de­signed by Daniel Ch­ester French.”

The “Ital­ian im­mi­grants” were the six Pic­cir­illi broth­ers, mas­ter stone carvers who were the “go-to” sculp­tors for U.S. memo­ri­als at the time. They did the foun­tain in Dupont Cir­cle, the me­mo­rial to the USS Maine in New York’s Cen­tral Park and the iconic lions guard­ing the New York Pub­lic Li­brary on Fifth Av­enue, among many, many oth­ers. They carved Lin­coln’s statue, which took about six years to com­plete. The African Amer­i­can work­ers did not build the statue. They as­sem­bled it.

Let’s give credit where it’s due and not di­min­ish the ac­com­plish­ments of one group of peo­ple to ex­alt an­other’s.

Dona De Sanc­tis, Bowie The writer is a for­mer deputy ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Sons of Italy, the na­tion’s big­gest and old­est or­ga­ni­za­tion for peo­ple of Ital­ian her­itage.


Bryan Guglielmi and Ju­lia Leni­han work on part of Garin Baker’s 28 Blocks Mu­ral project, which rec­og­nizes those in­volved in the build­ing of the Lin­coln Me­mo­rial.

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