April 25th has always been a special holiday for Americans in Italy, considering the role played by the American army (though by no means diminishing that of the British army and the Italian partisans) in helping liberate Italy from the Fascists and their Nazi puppet-masters between 1943 and the end of WWII.
The parades, which I’m sorry to say are getting smaller year after year, though predictably politicized by the left, are fundamentally proud affairs, celebrating a moment where men and women fought together for a common goal.
I didn’t even make it off my property this year,though I have usually been a faithful participant in these parades, but I did run across this interesting fact: The official announcement of the liberation of Italy came from the organizing committee for the freedom of North Italy, among whose members was one Sandro Pertini, partisan and future beloved President of the Republic of Italy.
It’s ironic to run across Pertini in these days when Italy is convulsed by political machinations involving the choice of their new President, since he remains the most popular figure of all time amongst the old guard of Italian politics. His style and his substance ran contrary to much of what has fed up Italians with their government in recent days and years.
But what is most interesting for me about Pertini is the following fact. After being arrested in 1925 by the Fascist police for subversive activities, Pertini made the following statement under interrogation: I acknowledge the truth of your accusations and take sole responsibility for my actions, and regardless of the punishment you give me, I am ready to continue the struggle for socialism and freedom.
What class. What style. What balls.