Everybody loves a parade


Everybody loves a parade

Saturday, April 25th, 2015

Sometimes you just get lucky. This happened a year or two ago when I just happened upon the Tour D’Italia (the most important bicycle race in Italy) going through town. So if I hadn’t decided at just the right time to go out and buy a few groceries and I hadn’t decided to stop at the little fish market to buy a fish I might have missed out on the whole thing. As I was exiting the fish market and ready to cross  Saragozza and head up the hill to where I live there suddenly appeared a cop on a motorcycle cruising along with his light flashing. Then came a few cyclists and I thought, “ah, another race”. But then they started coming. An amazing collection of WWII military vehicles, mostly American. I was so stunned that I didn’t even think to reach into my pocket and take out the cell phone to snap some photos until I had already missed the 3 tanks and one half-track. But there were lots of vehicles remaining. All full of Italians pretending to be Americans (mostly) with some English, Scots and Canadians. Bringing up the rear were even a few Germans (not too popular with the crowd).

Of course I knew that today was Liberation Day, the day which commemorates the end of WWII in Italy. A couple of Italian friends say that they find it ironic that this is a national holiday. “What other country celebrates the day when they lost a war?” they say. This is not necessarily a widely held opinion. After all, Germany had essentially occupied all of Italy by 1943. Mussolini had been fired and imprisoned by King Vittorio Emmanuel III (yes they still had a king). A couple of months later he was freed by the Nazis and set up the Italian Socialist Republic in Northern Italy that lasted for 19 months until the end of hostilities in Italy although most of the military action and control was by the Nazis. So to my mind, and that of many Italians, it is in fact Liberation Day.

But now the photos.

Looks British to me

Looks British to me

Definitely American

Definitely an American half-track

Happy crowd aboard a personnel carrier

Happy crowd aboard a personnel carrier

Even an amphibious vehicle

Even an amphibious vehicle

Not sure who these guys are but interesting car

Not sure who these guys are but interesting car

WACS (Womens Army Corp) and nurses are represented

WACS (Womens Army Corp) and nurses are represented

I dunno - look like Germans to me. There were a bunch of American motorcycles too.

I dunno – look like Germans to me. There were a bunch of American motorcycles too.

One very gung-ho American

One very gung-ho American

Clearly a Scotsman

Clearly a Scotsman

And more of the British

And more of the British

Still a long line to go

Still a long line to go

Who are these guys and what is that vehicle? Cute, huh?

Who are these guys and what is that vehicle? Cute, huh?

Bringing up the rear - the Germans

Bringing up the rear – the Germans

 

I hope that you enjoyed the parade!

 

 

 

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