I will be in the Copper Country for Christmas this year and I am grateful to have the opportunity to stop by the Italian Hall Memorial Site in Calumet, Michigan this Christmas Eve. I will take a moment to silently reflect on the events of 1913. As silently as the snow fell that night, I will stand and pay a gentle tribute. The story of Italian Hall is a bleak moment in Copper Country history, but a plaque that rests on the memorial arch offers a hopeful and purposeful message for why our history, as bleak as it may be, is so deeply important. “Mourn the dead, fight for the living.” It’s amazing how such a simple message can shake one’s value system to the core and remind us all to adopt a personal philosophy that emphasizes graciousness, diligence, and respect for our fellow man.
This Christmas Eve I hope you will take a moment to remember those who perished in the Italian Hall disaster and remember what the strikers were fighting for. Have a wonderful holiday season and do something nice for your neighbor, your family, and your community!
For a recent article remembering the Italian Hall disaster, please see this Huffington Post article written by Copper Country historian Steve Lehto.