|Photo: Nearly 8,000 Americans are buried in this cemetery in Nettuno, Italy|
|Photo: Fourth of July pancake breakfast with real maple syrup and fresh butter at Jim and Pattee's apt.|
While he served his country, his first son was born in Los Angeles where his new bride Meg resided near her parents during his deployment. She had just been released from active duty having served as a WAVE in the Navy. One day while walking on base, he stepped on a muddy plank of mahogany and decided to find a lathe to mill a beautiful baby cradle which he sent home in a wooden box. His children each slept in that cradle as infants. Miriam and her siblings took turns borrowing the cradle for their babies as they arrived. Most of our children were also rocked to sleep in Grandpa's cradle from the war. It's still available for the great and great-great grandchildren who are born into the family.
|Photo: Our allied brethren laid to rest at Beach Head Cemetery in Anzio, Italy|
Italy, under the leadership of Mussolini, aligned itself with Hitler thinking it would be on the winning team. Not only did that backfire, but the decision was not well supported by many of the Italian citizens. A strong underground partisan army of Italian citizens fought against the Germans and suffered greatly for their patriotism. They ended up killing and hanging Mussolini upside down in a gas station lot in Milano near the end of the war. To this day, Germans are viewed somewhat suspiciously in Italy. When Italy and Germany play soccer against each other, it's WWIII.
There are several recent movies that document Hitler's motives to acquire and/or destroy much of the art and culture of his enemies, particularly in Italy. "The Rape of Europa" is my favorite and "The Monument Men" tells the story about attempts to preserve and return the stolen art to it's rightful owners. The world is grateful that much of what was stolen during the war has been returned to Italy. The Italians are still upset that Napoleon absconded with so much of their priceless art in the early 1800's. The fact that people today are flocking to the Louvre Museum in Paris to see Leonardo Da Vinci's "Mona Lisa" and the hundreds of other Italian art treasures that were hauled off to France only increases Italian ire. Nearly 400 pieces of priceless art were "purchased" for pennies by Napoleon and then transferred from the Villa Borghese in Rome to be displayed in the remodeled Borghese wing of the Louvre in Paris. Some of the best of Italian art is not to be found in Italy and that's a tender subject amongst many Italians.
|Photo: Thanks to you Walter and all of your buddies Italian, not German, is the official language of Italy|
|Photo: Thinking of you Dad... grateful for your service (and baby cradle).|