Italian Ambassador Giovanni Castellaneta's Message
delivered by First Counselor Marco Mancini
48th Annual Ceremony in Commemoration of Charles J. Bonaparte 46th Attorney General
Founder of the Federal Bureau of Investigation
Washington, 20 June 2008
On behalf of the Ambassador of Italy to the United States, His Excellency Giovanni Castellaneta, I wish to thank the Historical Society of America for today’s commemoration of an Italian American who ennobled this great country and who adds to the many Italians who over the course of centuries, through their meritorious work, have greatly contributed to strengthening the friendship and collaboration between the United States and Italy.
Charles Bonaparte, 46th Attorney General, is today remembered as the one who in long ago 1908 founded, on instruction of President Roosevelt, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, giving this country, for the first time in its history, its first federal criminal investigations office.
Since then, the FBI is known throughout the world for efficiency, professionalism and dedication to serve the public and government. It is an institution that continues to accomplish major results in the war on domestic and international crime and that has with Italy has a very special and deeply rooted collaboration in this delicate and vital sector. Our Police Forces and our District Attorneys have conducted very important investigations in concert with the FBI and have been able to bring to justice notorious figures of organized crime, thereby reducing the impact of several of its most violent and dangerous manifestations. Suffice it to recall, symbolizing many others, the ‘pizza connection’ that still today is at the basis of the success that continues to be had on both sides of the Atlantic in the fight against mafia organizations.
The FBI today, together with the forces of law and order of almost all countries, is called upon to face new and more sophisticated threats to security and to the peaceful coexistence of the public. It can do so thanks to the international relationships that over the course of decades that the FBI has capably installed, maintained, and reinforced. Italy is justly proud of the decisive role that it has played, in close collaboration with the Bureau, toward achievement of this mission.
Thus it is also thanks to the vision of men and women like Charles Bonaparte that we can today rely on a capillary and extremely professional organization that defends law and order even across national boundaries.
For 48 years, the Italian Historical Society of America has never failed to recall, through this intimate and moving ceremony, the man who set this outstanding system in motion and with him all those who daily follow his example tin the defense of liberty and justice in the United States and throughout the world.
Since boyhood, like many others, I saw the FBI as the fulcrum of complex investigations and courageous agents who braved great dangers to protect and preserve law and order. Today, my experience here in the USA has made it possible to personally confirm this image and I take this special occasion to thank everyone who contributes, not always in the spotlight but often in the shadows, to this vital effort.
It is only right thus to dedicate a moment of silence and appreciation to the organizer of the FBI, Charles Bonaparte, on the anniversary of his birth and I thank the friends of the Italian Historical Society of America for once again including us among those who are appreciative of his accomplishments.