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Italian Armed Forces Day Celebrated in Washington DC

By Francesco isgro*

Italian Armed Forces Day was commemorated recently with a series of events in the Washington D.C. area. At Arlington National Cemetery on the morning of Nov. 4, 2010, Italian General Gabriele Salvestroni and Deputy Chief of Mission Gian Lorenzo Cornado laid a wreath at the Tomb of Unknowns to honor four Italians who are buried at the cemetery.

That evening, hundreds of guests were welcomed by Minister Conrado and General Salvestroni at a reception in the Italian Embassy. In welcoming remarks Cornado highlighted the continuing contribution of Italy toward stability in Afghanistan and emphasized the country's commitment to world peace.

On Sunday, Nov. 7 at Holy Rosary Church, Monsignor Marco Sprizzi of the Apostolic Nunciature and pastor Fr. Lydio Tomasi con-celebrated a solemn Mass in honor of fallen soldiers.

In his homily, Monsignor Sprizzi remembered not just soldiers who have fallen in time of war but also other individuals, such as Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, who died fighting wars against other types of evils.
Italian Embassy
The choir, led by director, Maria Marigliano, performed litergical hymns, as well as the national anthems of Italy and the United States.

At the conclusion of the Mass, Amb. Terzi delivered brief remarks to parishioners, and members of the diplomatic and military corps in attendance. Terzi noted that Nov. 4 should be a day of remembrance for the 650,00 Italians who gave their lives between 1915-1918 in the hope of achieving liberty and completing the unity of Italy, which their predecessors so deeply hoped for during the Risorgimento.

Terzi also stated that as celebrations of the 150th anniversary of Italian Unity are underway, Italy, guided by human-rights principles, remains committed to stability, peace and international security.
A reception followed at Casa Italiana, allowing parishioners and Embassy officials an opportunity to mingle and enjoy light refreshments.

Reprinted from Voce Italiana December 2010

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