San Gimignano

San Gimignano
Beautiful city of San Gimignano, where we spent last Sunday afternoon.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Italian Liberation Day-April 25 1945

There is a busy road about 1 mile behind our house named "April 25" which we found a rather strange name for a road.  Steve's secretary was telling him a few weeks ago that there were many roads in Italy named "April 25" because this was the day that the Allies helped to liberate Italy during WWII.  It is a National Holiday and everything closes down across the country.  There are parades, festivals, political speeches and other celebrations to commemorate this significant event in Italian history.

What I find especially moving is that the Americans played a major role in helping to liberate Italy at that time.  I wish I knew more about Italian history in particular  and I plan to read more during the coming months.  In the meantime I ask Steve a many questions :-)  He knows a lot about history!

About 45 minutes from us and just South of Florence is a large American cemetery where 4000 Americans servicemen are buried because they died fighting in WWII.  We often forget the sacrifices that have been made for the freedoms we enjoy now.  That is said so often I know.  Maybe it is because it is so true.  I believe it important that our children be taught history, taken to historical sites, explained the significance of historical events that have happened and that are happening now.  Our girls can certainly tell you that they were dragged to places they did not want to go to but now appreciate the exposure they have had :-)  I'm willing to bet they will be dragging their own children to some of those same spots.

When we lived in England we had a young housekeeper who worked for us.  She was probably in her 30's or so.  It was during the time that we invaded Iraq and the war and our invasion there was DEEPLY unpopular.  There were marches in London.  It was all over the news daily. Tony Blair was taking  huge political heat from his support of the Iraq war and of George Bush.  I remember asking her about her opinion on it all and her families position, just because I was interested in what a British family thought....not because I was trying to sway her opinion one way or another.  After a little discussion, she stopped and said, My g'mother said...."I remember the war (referring to WWII), if it hadn't been for the Americans we would have been lost, and I will forever be grateful".  Her statement brought tears to my eyes.  Not because we were right or wrong, but just because there was some recognition that at one time we did something that was still remembered by this family and they appreciated it :-)

I have attached a few links here if you are interested in reading a little more about Liberation Day in Italy.  I wish I had the time to go out and make some pictures in the towns close around but maybe next year.  Today I'm getting ready for house guests from Alabama tomorrow :-)  Plus I have my 2nd Italian class tonight.  I had to practice counting to 10 today and learning my days of the month LOL  It's kind of like being in Kindergarten except we don't get snacks or get to take a nap.

http://italymag.co.uk/italy-featured/guarda/liberation-day

http://italymag.co.uk/italy-featured/guarda/liberation-day

Here is a link to the Florence American cemetery:
http://www.abmc.gov/cemeteries/cemeteries/fl.php



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Liberation Day-Italian Colors


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And the Americans join in the Liberation Day Parades :-)
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Liberation Day-April 25, 1945
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I am guessing this g'mother was a little girl during Liberation Day 1945?

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Wow! Just found this picture. African American platoon takes this position just a few miles North of Lucca in the foremost point occupied byAmerican troops.  Lucca is about 45 minutes from where we live.  It is a beautiful walled city and a wonderful place to visit. Amazing that only a few decades ago WWII was going on all around us!
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City Festivities