10th Mountain Division – Italy Always 2006

“ALWAYS ITALY”, THE VETERANS' TOUR

10thMountDiv_memorialIt is called "Sempre Italia 2006. Return to Italy", as stated in the guide printed for the occasion, the trip organized by the "National Association of the 10th Mountain Division" on the Italian battlefields of the Second World War. 45 elderly veterans boarded the plane, in a group of 203 people including relatives and friends, who arrived in Rome last May 28th: the plan is to revisit the places where the 10th Mountain Division fought 61 years ago, along a route which reflects the advance made during the final offensive of the Italian campaign. We met them in Lizzano in Belvedere, where a monument dedicated to the 10th Mountain Division was inaugurated on Monte Belvedere.

10thMountDiv_memorialOfficial visit 10th Mountain Division “Italia Semper 2006”

We had known for months about the official visit of the 10th Div. to Lizzano in Belvedere both from the friends of the Apennines who organized the reception, and from the United States where some veterans known in previous visits warned us
The days were not the best, especially on Friday 2 June when a heavy freezing rain and an unusual wind for this season limited all the scheduled activities. Despite the adverse weather conditions we managed to stay with our veteran friends and climb with them to Monte Belvedere for the inauguration of the stone memorial dedicated to the Division. The following day was dedicated to closing the visit with the parade through the streets of Lizzano and the closing ceremony. Our renactors, together with the "Brothers on the Mountain" group, prepared a small parade in period uniform complete with a sled.

There was no shortage of moments of relaxation where we were able to talk with veterans and their families; conversing with them in front of the history books they experienced was an indescribable emotion. All our efforts to stay with them for these two days, the journey, the bad weather, were shattered in the face of these unplanned but exceptional conversations where the protagonists talk. The veterans and their families, very organised, wore an identification tag with their name and surname and department and it was really interesting to see the acronyms of regiments that you have only read about in books, worn by these nice elderly people. It won't be easy, but we don't want it either, to forget the faces and expressions of these veterans who, in the end, are the engine of our enthusiasm.

See you next time friends of the 10th Mountain Division!!

Filippo Spadi 2006.

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