Meet Vito Cannella and the story behind National Flag Week

Mary Dawson

Did you know that next week is National Flag Week?  In June of 1966 President Lyndon Johnson signed the proclamation designating the week in which June 14 occurs as National Flag Week. During this time all citizens are encouraged to proudly display the flag of the United States, aka “Old Glory”. One of the key men in bringing this legislation about was Montrose’s own Vito Cannella. Vito’s story is an interesting one. The son of Sicilian parents, Vito and Anna, Vito was born in 1928 in Trieste, Italy. He also has two brothers, Giuseppe and Luigi. Now that’s Italian! Vito came to America in 1950. In 1958 he opened Vito’s Barber Shop in the heart of Montrose. He also served as the Postmaster of Montrose in the 1960s when the Montrose Shopping Park was born.
Fast forward to today. Vito is in his early 80s and is still going strong. He still uses his barbering skills working at The Montrose Barber Shop. Vito also serves on the Montrose Shopping Park Board of Directors. He is a living example of someone who takes the time to give back to the town. And it is truly a blessing to be one who gives. You can see it in Vito’s life. Last year, on Italian Republic Day, Vito was awarded Knight of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Italy. Yes, Sir Vito is a Knight. I don’t know of many other barbers with that title, do you?
Just this month Vito received yet another honor. He along with another gentleman were chosen as “Men of the Year” by the Federated Italo-Americans. Vito is one of many special people who have helped to make Montrose what it is today. It gives me great joy to walk down Honolulu Avenue and see our American flags waving among the jacaranda trees, the beautiful purple ones now in bloom. I think it would also give Vito great joy if you were to stop by the Montrose Barber Shop and say “thank you.”
Since we are on a patriotic theme this week I would like to invite you to check out our first ever Montrose Shopping Park blog. Yours truly is writing it and I hope to make it something you enjoy, easy to read with great pictures. This blog shows pics from the very moving Memorial Day tribute that was held recently at the corner of Honolulu & Oceanview. I’m sure you will see people you know. It’s easy to get to. Just go to our website and click on the “Blog” button. In the meantime, join us in proudly displaying our flag.
See you next week!

Mary Dawson owns Revelation Tops with her sister Carole,
and serves as vice president of the Montrose Shopping Park.