SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Mayor Domenic Sarno issued a proclamation recognizing the month of June 2016 as Immigrant Heritage Month in the city of Springfield.

Immigrant Heritage Month celebrates our country’s immigrant heritage and the stories of individuals, families and communities who have contributed to the unique social fabric of our country. The effort is part of a nationwide initiative organized by Welcome.us to gather and share inspirational stories of immigration in America.

“I’m a first generation Italian/American. My parents, Alfonso and Clara Sarno are Italian immigrants, who as children survived underground in Italy during the Nazi occupation of World War II. My dad, a barber, and my mom, a seamstress, immigrated to Springfield and opened their own businesses. They made sure to make myself, my sister Giovanna and brother Alfonso Jr. proud to be American, but they never let our family lose touch of our Italian roots and foundation of family – “a familia,” – faith, education, traditions and of course our food. I continue to instill these values in my own family with my wife Carla and daughters Cassandra and Chiara,” said Sarno.

To learn more about Immigrant Heritage Month click here.