Trump also paid his respects to Italy, and took the opportunity to "reaffirm our close ties to Columbus's country of birth", noting that "Italy is a strong ally and a valued partner in promoting peace and promoting prosperity around the world".
The statue, which stands 75-feet high and rally organizers say was a gift to the city of NY from Italian-American immigrants, has come under fire lately from groups who highlight Columbus' mistreatment of Native Americans and Caribbeans.
The move by the mayor led to him being "uninvited" to the event in the Bronx Sunday, where politicians started a petition to keep the Columbus Circle statue.
"There is that concern that Indigenous People, the plight and the struggle of Indigenous People but also the contributions that they made, just aren't being recognized", Marc Cohen, Student Assembly President, said. Many Italian Americans honor their heritage on Columbus Day with parades and festivals.
This debate over Columbus Day continues as many fought this summer over the toppling of Robert E. Lee statues and other historical figures.
He said: 'The conversation is Columbus.
He likens Columbus less to Robert E. Lee than to the more ambiguous Thomas Jefferson, who "owned slaves, was human and had warts". "We celebrate all the positive things that he did".
"Columbus came here in 1492, and they want to judge his actions with the standards of 2017", he previously told WCBS 880's Peter Haskell. They spoke out before being escorted away.
Gonzales says Columbus Day marks the beginning of a period of time in the calendar year that can be painful for and insensitive toward native communities.
"By that logic, it was wrong to have taken down the "White Only" signs over water fountains and restrooms all over the South". Instead, those places are celebrating Indigenous Peoples Day. The Bahamas, where Columbus landed, called it Discovery Day.
The notion of an Indigenous Peoples Day took root at an global conference on discrimination sponsored by the United Nations in 1977. "We do this because our history books erase such history".
"On behalf of the Italian community, we want to celebrate with you", Ann Potenza, president of Federated Italo-Americans of Southern California, said at a hearing in Los Angeles in August, the Los Angeles Times reported.
"Revision is not the same as lying, which people think it is", Grossman said.
Nearly two-thirds of respondents who said they were Catholic, or 65 percent, expressed a "favorable" or "very favorable" opinion of Columbus and the national holiday that honors him. "And let's learn from history, the good the bad and the ugly". "But the idea of reckoning, commemoration as reckoning as opposed to celebration is distinct".