- Italy Prime Minister chose Bergamo as the city symbol of the first wave of the pandemic to pay homage to the many deaths from COVID-19.
- The premier laid a crown at the Monumental cemetery, then went to the Parco della Trucca for the inauguration of the Bosco della Memoria.
- The PM said: This place is a symbol of the pain of an entire nation.
“Today is a day full of sadness and full of hope. I would like you to feel me close, in sadness and hope,” said Italy Prime Minister Mario Draghi at the memorial for the victims of COVID in Bergamo.
Prime Minister Mario Draghi chose Bergamo as the city symbol of the first wave of the pandemic to pay homage to the many deaths from COVID in Italy. This was marked on the occasion of the National Day of the Victims that will unite the whole country with the tolling of church bells and moments of recollection in cemeteries.
The premier laid a crown at the Monumental cemetery, then made a visit and speech at the Parco della Trucca for the inauguration of the Bosco della Memoria with the Mayor of Bergamo, Giorgio Gori, and the Bishop, Francesco Beschi.
In his speech Draghi spoke of the vaccination campaign: “The government, you know well, is committed to doing as many vaccinations as possible in the shortest possible time.
“Today, the European Medicines Agency gave its positive opinion on AstraZeneca. The vaccination campaign will continue with the same intensity, with the same objectives. Increased supplies of some vaccines will help offset delays from other drug companies. We have already taken incisive decisions towards companies that do not keep the agreements.”
The premier recalled how “we cannot hug each other yet, but this is the day when we must all feel even more united. Starting from here, from this place that remembers those who are no longer there. In this city there is no one who has not had a family member or acquaintance affected by the virus.”
Then he turned to the people of Bergamo: “You have experienced terrible days in which there was not even time to cry for your loved ones, to greet them and accompany them for the last time. There are many images of this tragedy which have affected everyone in Italy and in the world. One above all is indelible: the column of military trucks loaded with coffins. It was the evening of March 18, exactly one year ago.
“This wood does not contain only the memory of the many victims to whom our moving thoughts go today. This place is a symbol of the pain of an entire nation. The President of the Republic has already testified to this with his presence at the commemoration of June 28 at the Monumental Cemetery.
“It is also the place of a solemn commitment that we make today. We are here to promise our elders that it will no longer happen that fragile people are not adequately cared for and protected. Only in this way will we respect the dignity of those who have left us. Only in this way will this wood of memory also be the symbolic place of our redemption. We are here to celebrate the memory so that the memory of what happened in the spring of last year does not fade.”
The respect “that we owe to those who have left us must give us the strength to rebuild the world they dreamed of for their children and grandchildren,” concluded Draghi.
The whole “community of Bergamo has shown its ability to react, to transform grief and difficulties into a desire for redemption, regeneration. His example is precious for all Italians who, I am sure, can’t wait to raise their heads, start again, free their energies that have made this country wonderful. And I am here today to say thank you and to commit myself together with all of you to rebuild without forgetting.”