Woodrow Wilson photo

Remarks at the Municipalite in Genoa, Italy

January 05, 1919

Mr. Mayor:

It is with many feelings of a very deep sort, perhaps too deep for adequate expression, that I find myself in Genoa. Genoa is a natural shrine for Americans. The connections of America with Genoa are so many and so significant that there are some senses in which it may be said that wo drew our life and beginnings from this city. You can realize, therefore, sir, with what emotion I receive the honor which you have so generously conferred upon me of the citizenship of this great city. In a way it seems natural for an American to be a citizen of Genoa, and I shall always count it among the most delightful associations of my life that you should have conferred this honor upon me, and in taking away this beautiful edition of the works of Mazzini I hope that I shall derive inspiration from these volumes, as I have already derived guidance from the principles which Mazzini so eloquently expressed. It is very inspiring, sir, to feel how the human spirit is refreshed again and again from its original sources. It is delightful to feel how the voice of one people speaks to another through the mouth of men who have by some gift of God been lifted above the common level and seen the light of humanity, and therefore these words of your prophet and leader will, I hope, be deeply planted in the hearts of my fellow countrymen, There is already planted in those hearts, sir, a very deep and genuine affection for the great Italian people, and the thoughts of my own Nation turn constantly as we read our own history to this beautiful and distinguished city.

May I not thank you, sir, for myself and for Mrs. Wilson and for my daughter, for the very gracious welcome you have accorded us and again express my pride and pleasure?

APP Notes: The President referred to Emilio Massone, Mayor of Genoa.

Woodrow Wilson, Remarks at the Municipalite in Genoa, Italy Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/317679

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