Chargé d’Affaires Kelly Degnan at Florence American Cemetery to Commemorate the Memorial Day
Monday, May 29, 2017
On Monday, May 29, Chargé d’Affaires of the United States in Italy and San Marino Kelly C. Degnan, Italian for Defense Domenico Rossi, and Commander U.S. Army Europe Lieutenant General Ben Hodges delivered remarks at the Memorial Day ceremony which took place at the Florence American Military Cemetery. Together, they also laid wreaths at the Tablet of the Missing, upon which are inscribed 1,409 names of soldiers.
Superintendent of the Cemetery Angel M. Matos and U.S. Consul General in Florence Abigail M. Rupp also participated in the ceremony. The Florence Carabinieri Band played the Italian and American anthems, and a joint ceremonial combined formation composed of Italian and U.S. armed forces rendered military honors.
At the Florence American Cemetery are the headstones of 4,401 of U.S. military dead. They represent 39 percent of the U.S. Fifth Army burials originally made between Rome and the Alps. Most died in the fighting that occurred after the capture of Rome in 1944. Included among them are casualties of the heavy fighting in the Apennine Mountains shortly before the war’s end. On Memorial Day, ceremonies took place across the U.S., as well as in American military cemeteries throughout the world to honor men and women who died serving the U.S. military.