Writing in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Arnold Garcia Jr recounts a less-known chapter of the Allies’ slow and bloody advance across war-ravaged Italy in 1944 – The Rapido River battle. In the Allied Italian campaign there were countless such episodes of mass casualties and slaughter, where thousands of American soldiers lost their lives while liberating Italy – and the rest of Europe – from the totalitarian plague of Nazi-Fascism. At the Rapido River battle shows, the Allies were not always victorious – and the conflicts were rarely bloodless.
Today, memories of World War Two have faded – and Europe has adopted a different, less appreciative, view of the United States. It should not be so – the resolve of wartime America to come to Europe’s rescue and the heroism of US soldiers in countless battles should never be forgotten. America is routinely accused of imperialism – and yet, countless fields silently bear witness to a simple fact: the only land ‘imperial’ America ever claimed from other countries is the one needed to bury its fallen heroes.
Had it not been for their sacrifice, Europe would not be what it is today – peaceful, prosperous, and free. On such a day then, I offer thanks to America for saving us from tyranny. Do not pay attention to the anti-Americanism of our chattering classes – Europe is forever indebted to America and its fallen soldiers.