A blog from World War 2

May 8, 1945

We go to Rimini by truck, since most of the railways are damaged. From here we take a train- 8 horses, 40 men, almost double the amount but I don’t care, I’d even be happy to travel amidst garbage. At around 1:00 Pasquale Migliozzi and I reach Rome. As soon as we get there, we take the tram to my cousin Domenico Piccirillo’s home on in Via Ostilia #36, I know this place well since I’d been there more than once. As soon as his daughters and wife Adalgisa see me in the stairway, they are shocked. They bombard me with questions, I tell them a bit of my odyssey. Then my cousin Domenico arrives, he is also very happy and excited to see me in good shape. He says: “Eat something now, you can rest and sleep here tonight, then tomorrow you can go home.” I reply: “We’ll eat here but after that I want to leave. I want to make it back home today.” So my cousin tells his son Renato, who had also come home in the meantime, to take us to Piazza San Giovanni. He says trucks heading south always depart from there. We say goodbye and go to Piazza San Giovanni. Shortly after, a small truck heading to Naples arrives, we ask if he can take us, he says yes so we climb in. There are other men in the back. I ask how much it costs and he says 500 lira a person. I give him 500 lira, he turns to Pasquale for 500 lira, but I tell him my 500 lira was for us both, he settles for that and we drive off. At around 7:00 we reach the crossroads between Casale and Ventaroli. We get out and walk to the first house in Casale. We stop here and I write a postcard I picked up in Rome and give it to Giuseppe Taffuri’s son, Gennarino, and ask him to take it to my wife saying that a man from Sessa Aurunca gave it to him after seeing me in Rome the day before. After 10 minutes, I start walking again, I’m so excited. At the “Crucella” bridge, a crowd of people comes toward me. I see Gennarino and ask if he delivered the postcard, he tells me he gave it to my wife’s father and told him the truth, that I stopped at his house to wait.

At Giuseppe Taffuri’s home I asked for news about my loved ones, he assured me they are all well. 20 meters away I see a little boy running toward me, at first I think he’s Carluccio, Peppino La Vecchia’s son, he certainly has grown… but then I realize it’s my little Antonio and I embrace him with all the affection and love of a father who has been away for so long and with such little hope of returning home alive to his loved ones. People pummel me with questions, they all hug me, and together with them I walk toward my home. I reach the doorway of Via San Pasquale #14 where my family lives, there are so many people around me I can’t even enter. They are all shaking my hand, asking me how my fellow townsmen are, I assure them they are all well, then I push through the crowd and go inside. Here I can finally embrace my dear wife, my daughter, my father, and everyone. The good Lord answered my prayers. This is and will always be the most beautiful day, the most beautiful moment of my life. My diary ends here. Evening of May 8, 1945

8 Comments

  1. Susie:

    Wow, so beautiful. He’s quite a writer!!

  2. silvia:

    ok, I’m crying here…

  3. Linda:

    How wonderful – and yes I am quite tearful too. A lovely happy ending.

  4. Gene:

    Wonderful homecoming, but selfishly I am very sorry to see this tale come to an end. I looked forward to checking every day to see if there was a new diary entry.

  5. World War 2:

    Ohmy! Just stumbled on this on accident and started reading from the beginning. Great read!

  6. admin:

    Thanks, so glad you enjoyed it! I plan on inverting the order of all the posts soon so that it will read from beginning till end.

  7. simona:

    un bellissimo tesoro gelosamente conservato e generosamente condiviso. grazie

  8. Daniele D'Angelo:

    Tutto questo è fantastico e mi lascia davvero i brividi, complimenti per aver condiviso questo pezzo di storia!

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