Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-Ohio) was confirmed as a Knight of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic on Wednesday.
“It’s with great pride that I accept this honor,” Tiberi, the son of Italian immigrants, said. “I’ve worked to strengthen the relationship between Italy and the United States and am humbled to receive this distinction for my public service.”
Claudio Bisogniero, the Italian Ambassador to the United States, awarded the title. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) received the honor as well.
Tiberi and Pascrell co-chair the Italian-American Congressional Delegation and are actively involved with the National Italian American Foundation.
Tiberi has family in Introdacqua, a town in the L’Aquila Province in the region of Abruzzo in Central Italy. His parents moved to Columbus, Ohio, before he was born. Tiberi was the first in his family to graduate high school.
“My parents always told me they came to this country for an opportunity, not a guarantee,” Tiberi said. “They instilled in me and my sisters their Italian values of hard work, loyalty, and the love of family and friends.”
The Order of Merit of the Republic of Italy is the highest order of knighthood in Italy. The award is given to those who have gained merit for Italy in the fields of literature, the arts, economics, public service, and social, philanthropic and humanitarian activities, and for long and conspicuous service in civilian and military careers.