Gothic Line Memorial Park Dedication
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The text which follows is a translation of the Welcoming Remarks of 1st Capt. Aut. (r) Cav. Giuliano Padelletti, President of UNUCI Prato, at the Dedication Ceremony for the Gothic Line Memorial Park Dedication Ceremony on 2 June 2003.
I leave the translation in a very rough form, for it is by slow reading that we are better able to think about and understand what Captain Padelletti means.
Under new Italian laws, regarding the professionalism in its Armed Forces, conscription is gone over and the contact between new kind of soldiers and population is the important work that UNUCI has to do. [UNUCI = Unione Nazionale Ufficiali in Congedo d'Italia = Italian National Reserve Officers Association]
The final important duty is to help Nation to create an Italian Force for domestic military and civil protection.
UNUCI of Prato, more to usual activities, increase training and military culture and so on, with the present realization offer his own tribute to close Italian Army and citizens.
Prato branch of UNUCI is trying to study deeply the history of WW2 in Prato area, through military documents, to make a complete record of happenings of September 1944.
We realized that no chronicle tells the human tragedy that the field battle fought in the place we are, surely the most important battle historically ever in Prato Territory.
Here happened the final battle of forward of American 133rd Infantry Regiment against the German 734th Infantry Regiment, here was made one of the first breaches in the "Gothic Line": days of cruel fightings between men that saw each other in their eyes.
They were men become bad because of necessity to save themselves during long months of battles, but they were Soldiers that made the duty to them requested, they did it completely and with tragic loyalty.
In many Cemeteries are buried thousands of dead men, institutional [regimented (?)] dead men, dead men destined to die because they were "SOLDIERS".
A cynic might say: "Soldiers are to be counted, live or dead".
NO! We want to remember them as MEN, no matter under which flag they fought and died!
NO! We do not celebrate a victory, we give this monument to Civil Society sure that it will become a place in which reflection and human pity (mercy) do realize to everyone that the real GUILTLESS VICTIM of war is the SOLDIER.
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