A ceremony commemorating the Italian Resistance fighters who died during the liberation of Milan in World War Two was held in the Italian city on Thursday amid the COVID-19 lockdown.
It was the first official institutional event in the city since the lockdown was imposed in Lombardy due to the coronavirus, and comes two days before Liberation Day, when Italy celebrates the end of its Nazi occupation.
The ceremony took place at the main Milanese cemetery where hundreds of anti-fascist partisans rest.
“Despite the extreme situation we are living this year we cannot avoid this commemorative moment, even if we have to experience in an unusual and disconcerting way,” said the Archbishop of Milan Mario Delpini, who hosted the event.
Organised by the National Association of the Italian Partisans (ANPI), the celebration was attended by its president Roberto Cenati, Milan’s deputy mayor Anna Scavuzzo and the president of Milan’s Jewish Community Milo Hasbani.
“The fight for liberation is very present today and has a deep meaning. It has to push us to face selfishness, nationalism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia. We must not be indifferent towards those suffering. I believe this being the deepest message from the Italian resistance and from everyone that fell for the freedom of our country,” said Roberto Cenati.
This year marks the 75th anniversary of Mussolini’s defeat and more social-distance observing celebrations honouring those who fell fighting fascism are set to be held in Italy in late April amid the coronavirus crisis.