If countries states of the Commonwealth of Nations celebrate Remembrance Day on November 11, Italy celebrates soldiers who died for the country on November 4. Veterans Day in Italy is known as the Day of National Unity Day of the Armed Forces. So, how is Veterans Day celebrated in Italy?
What is National Unity Day in Italy?
Day of National Unity Day of the Armed Forces (Giorno dell’Unità Nazionale Giornata delle Forze Armate), also National Unity Day, celebrates the end of World War I for Italy. National Unity Day is observed on November 4th each year to mark the day an armistice ended the battle between Italian troops and the brutal Austro-Hungarian Army in 1918.
Awesome Veterans Day gifts to show your appreciation
Veterans pay blood and sweat to win freedom, give us security, and safety. So, on Veterans Day in some countries in general and National Unity Day in Italy in particular- and all other 364 days of the year, spend your time and money to give back to those who have risked their lives to defend the country.
Whether you know them in your life, or don’t know any veterans, there are various ways to express your gratitude and thankfulness. You can donate money to organizations for veterans, or volunteer to take care of veterans. It is reported that more than 61,000 volunteers spent over nine million hours of their time to help our veterans in America in 2019.
If you have time, it’s great to support veterans in your area. Also, giving a meaningful and practical gift is another way to show your appreciation. If you’re not sure what to buy veterans, consider a veteran shirt. They feature meaningful messages that will make veterans feel loved and proud of their service. Though they are a small gift, veterans will definitely appreciate how thoughtful you are. Here are some outstanding ones:
Christmas Veteran Shirt Christmas Tree$15.99
If You Heard The Shot You Were Never The Target Shirt Veteran$15.99
Hell Of A Place To Grow Up Vietnam Veteran Shirt$15.99
We Sent Our Bravest Led By The Unqualified Shirt Vietnam War$15.99
I Have Done Things That Haunt Me In My Sleep Veteran Shirt$15.99
Blessed By God Raised By A Veteran Protected By Both Shirt$15.99
History of National Unity Day
Italy joined World War I in 1915 with the aim of achieving national unification: for this reason, Italy’s intervention in World War I is also considered the Fourth Italian War of Independence.
In 1919, Italy announced the anniversary of a holiday, dedicating it to its soldiers and the new areas they had battled for. The union of these areas, inhabited by many ethnic Italians and Italian speakers, was regarded by nationalists as completing the unification of Italy – –so, it became the celebration of “national unity”.
In 1922, soon after the march in Rome, the holiday was renamed Anniversario della Vittoria (Victory Anniversary) to highlight Italy’s military strength.
The event has been observed for 101 years since, making it one of Italy’s oldest national holidays and one of the rare holidays celebrated before, during, and after the Fascist era. While protesters of the 1960s and 70s protested against what they saw as the glorification of militarism and nationalism, the holiday persisted, despite smaller celebrations.
In 1977, National Unity Day was moved from a public holiday to the first Sunday of November, thus removing the holiday.
During the 1980s and 1990s, the importance of National Unity Day decreased but in the 2000s, at the push of former Republican President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, who had been the protagonist of a general valuation of Italian national symbols, the holiday has become more widely celebrated.
How is Veterans Day celebrated in Italy?
On National Unity Day, Italy begins its celebration by flying its national flag. The mayors of Italy and those serving in the military are present at the ceremony, and people can watch weapons and martial arts demonstrations.
The main event is a military display at the Altare della Patria in Rome’s Piazza Venezia, with the attendance of the Italian President and Ministry of Defence.
The Head of State lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier or the Silly Milite, who was buried at the memorial on November 4, 1921.
Other celebrations include solemn visits to the Vittorio Veneto. The Vittorio Veneto is where Italy and Austria-Hungary fought the last battle of World War I. Another popular destination for National Unity Day is the Redipuglia War Memorial, where there are the remains of 100,000 Italian soldiers who fell in World War I. Redipuglia Memorial is dedicated to honoring the Italians who lost their lives there.
There was also a fly-past by the air force’s Frecce Tricolori aerial display team and a change of bodyguards outside the presidential palace.
Each year, ceremonies are held at war memorials and cemeteries throughout Italy. Military sites are sometimes specially opened to the public, while members of the armed forces perform exercises or concerts in town squares. Arms displays and exhibitions about World War I are often held inside barracks.
We hope that this post makes you clear on how is Veterans Day celebrated in Italy. It’s never a bad time to give veterans in your life meaningful gifts and send great messages to thank them for their service. So, don’t hesitate to show your deep gratitude this Veterans Day.