Last month I was in Italy for the wedding of my son to his lovely bride from Rome. Our whole family was there visiting with our new family and seeing all the sights of “the Eternal City.” We did not know that in the middle of the week was a national holiday. April 25 is the day the people of Italy celebrate their liberation from the Nazis and Fascists.

That day was a Thursday this year. On Thursday we all went over to an aunt’s house for dinner. That wonderful lady must have spent a week preparing dinner for about 20 of us. Oh my gosh…a FIVE course meal…with FIVE homemade desserts following! Everything tasted unbelievably good, and we were all having a great time laughing and joking and eating.

During all the festivities, one relative turned to my wife and said very seriously, “Thank you for freeing us.” We knew what day it was for them, but my wife was a little startled. She said, “Uh well, I really didn’t do that…my uncles fought in World War 2, so they actually did something…but…you’re welcome.” The dear lady said, “No…thank you America..for rescuing us.” It was heartfelt and sincere. Even though my wife and I never freed anyone, we knew what they were saying. It felt good to hear it.

In September of 1943 the Italians realized that Mussolini was an idiot and was destroying their beautiful country. While a few Italians continued to fight with the Nazis, most chose to fight against the tyrants, and with the help of the Americans, the British Commonwealth troops, the Poles, the French, and the Brazilians…the Italians freed themselves.

Still…it was nice to hear a thank you.