ONn Tuesday, June 2, Italy marked its annual Republic Day with a moving tribute to the country’s coronavirus victims. Nearly 33,500 people have lost their lives in Italy due to Covid-19.
June 2 commemorates the momentous day in 1946 when Italians voted to form a republic.
Tuesday morning saw President Sergio Mattarella place a wreath at the capital’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, along with other government officials.
Rome’s traditional military parade was suspended this year, as the President instead visited the town of Codogno to “pay tribute to all the victims and to bear witness to the courage of all Italians” facing the Covid-19 emergency.
In a television broadcast on Monday evening, Mattarella said, “many of us hold the heartbreaking memory of those who passed away due to the coronavirus: relatives, friends, colleagues.”
The coronavirus crisis has “disrupted our lives … and placed the productive structure of our country under enormous strain,” the President continued, adding that despite the many future challenges facing the country as it tries to return to normality post-coronavirus, “we are not alone.”
Italy’s Frecce Tricolori, the Air Force acrobatics team, flew over the capital with its iconic streams of red, white, and green trailing behind.
Beginning on May 25, the team have been flying over the nation’s regional capitals in a message of solidarity and recovery.
“One of the crucial principles of acrobatic flight is that of flying together while maintaining the right distance,” the Air Force said in a statement. “This principle can become a metaphor for … our daily lives now: distant, but united.”