Constantino Brumidi's Liberty
Sunday will be the 132nd anniversary of the death of Constantino Brumidi. It is also the 60th anniversary of the unveiling of a granite and bronze grave marker, authorized and paid for by Congress, for his previously unmarked grave. House Speaker Sam Rayburn was there 60 years ago to pay his respects and make a speech for the occasion.
In recognition of the historic event, there will be a ceremony at Brumidi’s grave site at 1 PM at Glenwood Cemetery in the District. (Directions below)
Joe Grano, president of the Rhodes Tavern DC-Heritage Society will call the assembly to order. A representative from the Embassy of Italy, Michele Giacalone, is expected to be in attendance and will be greeted. Then, the prayer for the dead will be recited by Richard DiBuono, president of the Abruzzo and Molise Heritage Society. Mayor Gray’s proclamation will be read and then flowers will be presented by the following groups: The Rhodes Tavern-DC Heritage Society, The Abruzzo and Molise Heritage Society, the Italian Cultural Society and the Lido Civic Club. (The Lido Civic Club also presented flowers on this historic occasion 60 years ago). Others may then also place flowers on the grave.
Nelson Rimensnyder, vice president and historian of the Rhodes Tavern Society will speak briefly on his research on Congress’ tributes to Brumidi for the last 62 years.
Finally, Joe Grano will speak on the significance of all the tributes given by Congress to Brumidi. He will read from Sam Rayburn’s speech at the grave site 60 years ago, and conclude with a call for Congress to pay him one more tribute and that is: Posthumous presentation of the Congressional Gold Medal to Brumidi in the Rotunda, beneath his two great works of art.(See below for list of bills, resolutions and ceremonies by Congress regarding Brumidi).
For those who are parishioners at Holy Rosary Church, Brumidi will be remembered this Sunday at the 10:30 Mass. After the traditional Italian coffee hour, which begins at 11:30 at Casa Italiana, a number of us will leave from there to go to the cemetery. For those who do not wish to drive to the cemetery, it might be possible to find a ride from there. (Casa Italiana is at 595 and ½ Third Street, NW. Nearest Metro Station is Judiciary Square on the Red Line).
Constantino Brumidi's Liberty
Glenwood Cemetery is near the intersection of North Capitol St. and Rhode Island Ave, NE. The entrance to the cemetery is at 2219 Lincoln Rd. (Lincoln Rd is accessible from either Rhode Island Ave., one block from North Capitol St. or from North Capitol St. at Florida Ave). Go through arched gates of the cemetery on Lincoln Rd, and then go around the circle. Take the last right which is West Tour Rd. then make left on Chestnut Ave. Go one fourth mile and you will see the Brumidi grave site in a fenced off area on the left. You can park on the side of the road. For further assistance, inside the entrance there is a large outdoor map of the cemetery in a gazebo. The Brumidi grave site is in Section Q, close to North Capitol Street.
Honors Congress Has Bestowed Upon Brumidi Since 1950 (First 7 items researched by Nelson Rimensnyder in Congressional Record)
1950 – Congress authorizes a grave marker for Brumidi
1951 – Tribute to Brumidi in Rotunda for his 146th birthday
1952 – Dedication of Brumidi grave marker by Speaker
Rayburn at Glenwood Cemetery in District
1966 — Congress approves of Brumidi bust for Capitol
1968 – Dedication of Brumidi’s bust held in Rotunda
1980 – Congress holds memorial service for 100th
anniversary of Brumidi’s death
1980 – Congress requests President Carter to issue Brumidi
Proclamation for 100th anniversary of his death
2004 – Congress requests President Bush to issue Brumidi
Proclamation for 200th anniversary of his birth
2005 – Congress holds ceremony in Rotunda for 200th
anniversary of Brumidi’s birth.
2008 – Congress awards Brumidi the Congressional Gold