The Washington Times - March 18, 2011, 12:52PM

A bipartisan group of five House members, led House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, arrived in Italy Friday to help commemorate the 150th anniversary of Italian unification.

“This is a time to celebrate the birth of modern Italy and the brave patriots who made it possible,” said Pelosi in a prepared statement issued by her office.


The California Democrat and Italian-American said the trip was an opportunity to honor the ties between the two nations.

“America is a land discovered by an Italian, named for an Italian, and built by millions of Italian Americans,” she said. “Our shared history and culture only serve to strengthen the U.S.-Italy alliance in this new century.”

The bipartisan delegation also is scheduled to visit with U.S. troops stationed in Italy and to receive briefings on U.S. military support operations, including those in Africa and South Asia.

The other members of the delegation are Democratic Reps. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, Leonard L. Boswell of Iowa and Bill Pascrell Jr. of New Jersey, and Republican Rep John L. Mica of Florida.