On the centenary of the great war, there are those who dishonour them, even the recent ones that have died, those of the international peace-keeping missions, the moment when a shrine today was to be dedicated to them in the city of Caserta. The Municipality of Campania, with lightness and carelessness, dismesse this importat event. Officials and politicians, too busy in campaigning for the regional elections, forgot to organise for the commemoration which had to be attended by all the high authorities of the armed forces. By the Minister to the chiefs of staff. But no, everything was cancelled. A slap to the fallen and their families. In fact, the relatives of the victims,while aware of the initiative, had not received any official communication. Many of them had not received even a phone call. So today, no ceremony will be held for our soldiers who died in distant lands for the sake of politicians and they will be forgotten once again in favour of small provincial politics.
Raising the issue and reporting the malpractice of those who forget the blood spilled of so many men in uniform was Lt. Col. Gianfranco Paglia Gold Military Medal, who survived the battle of the “Check Point Pasta” in Mogadishu in July 1993. His is a cry of complaint but of pain too, who for years had been at the forefront. “Throughout Italy, commeorations are being celebrated on the occasion of the centenary of the great war, there are many activities in schools, thanks to a protocol signed between the Miur and Defense Ministry, in order to make the young people understand the true meaning of the peacekeeping missions and what is different about the Italian soldier. While all this is happening in Italy and in Caserta, not least the visit of Minister Roberta Pinotti who at the Teatro Garibaldi met Sammaritan students at a Conference ‘ Never again’ trenches’, Caserta, military town, today could be the protagonist of a great event: the inauguration of the first national Shrine in memory to all those who died during peacekeeping missions allocated to the Eremo di s. Vitaliano in Casola “.
Lieutenant Colonel Paglia has been attending to the organisation of this shrine for nine years. “I am sorry to say that the city where I live and to which they are deeply tied, has lost the opportunity to be the absolute protagonist in this important occurrence- he explained. Italy was built on the sacrifice of our young men who gave their lives for it. From World War I to the latest peace missions. Our militarymen have earned the respect of the entire world from Kindu onwards, both for their extraordinary skills and human qualities. Caserta is just one of those cities where the soldiers punctually leave to efendi the weakest of the nations. For this precise reason, this city was chosen as the ideal site for the shrine which was supposed to see its inauguration today with the participation of the presence of the Minister of the Defence and Chief of staff of the four armed forces, and especially the presence of the families of our fallen. Unfortunately, today this won’t happen, because of the very serious shortcomings in the organisation of the city of Caserta and ceremonial, that taken by political and personal interests have not devoted proper and well-deserved attention to the event. ”
According to Paglia “is inconceivable handling this event that involves the deepest of feelings of those who have either lost a husband, a son, a friend, a brother, with such insensitive superficiality forgetting to invite even a few of them. As a citizen and servant of the state, this would off offend me. You cannot think of tackling such delicate issues, moreover a city with a strong military vocation, without having respect for those who have given their lives honoring to the extreme, the sacrifice and oath pledged to the homeland. This means not having a sense of the state and the memory of what made Italy so great and free.The first national shrine will not open today but in September, without the participation of those who have shown so much disinterest. A man and a soldier who shared the fear of death and the pain of losing friends, can’t afford such arrogant behaviour. I have already apologised personally to the families as well as the political and military authorities and will do my utmost to keep the my word: Caserta shall have its shrine “.