During our 2017 pilgrimage to the battlefields of Emilia Romagna with the descendants of soldiers who fought in the 10th Mountain Division, my husband and I had the pleasure of meeting many Italians who remembered the war and expressed enduring gratitude for the important role played by the 10th in liberating Italy from fascism and the Nazi menace.  We also met many Alpini—Italian mountain soldiers—who admired the courage of America’s first alpine unit and joined in our festivities.  Among those we met, however, none was more memorable than Giovanni Sulla, from Modena, whose passion for the history of the 10th Mountain Division is unsurpassed.  He may be confined to a wheel chair—the result, it seems, not of war wounds but of an illness contracted in South America—and he may have difficulty expressing himself in English (he apologizes for his “macaroni English”) but that didn’t stop him from participating in our tour and showing his admiration for our soldiers in myriad ways.  Among other tributes to our division, he offered each of the tour’s descendants a bottle of Tuscan red wine adorned with a label honoring the Division.

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