The embrace of Barga and Sommocolonia for Sergeant Houston (2012)


Barga (Lucca) September 20, 2012

A long and intense hug:

Thus the administration of the Barga ‘Comune’ and that of the ‘Associazione Ricreativa’ of the village of Sommocolonia received Ivan J. Houston, returned to Italy to revisit the places where he fought as a sergeant in the 92nd Division, the Buffalo Division.

Houston, accompanied by lieutenant colonel Vittorio Biondi, author and organizer of the event, arrived in Barga last Friday at 10 am [9/14/12].  After the honors given him in Barga’s Fosso Piazza by the re-enactors of the Linea Gotica della Lucchesia , Houston was accompanied to the Sala Consiliare (governmental room) of the Palazzo Pancrazzi, where he was given an official welcome by vice-mayor Alberto Giovannetti and by the President of the ‘Union of Comunes’ in the Serchio Valley, Nicola Boggi.  This was followed by a talk given by Professor Umberto Sereni who spoke of the ties between Barga and the United States.  Sereni first asked for a minute of silence to commemorate the tragic events in Bengasi, culminating with the death of the American ambassador.

The ceremony then moved to Sommocolonia where Senator Andrea Marcucci awaited the arrival of the veteran. Then there was a ceremony of placing a wreath at the monument to the fallen of the terrible [Sommocolonia] battle which occurred at dawn on December 26, 1944. Houston’s visit was also the occasion to present the Museum of Memories project which will be built on ‘la Rocca’ land [in Sommocolonia].  The new museum will amplify the story and will allow for greater capacity than the current museum (Sala della Memoria — Room of Memories) to receive the many visitors who climb up to Sommocolonia to discover its history. This is an ambitious goal made possible thanks to the commitment of the councilman Pietro Onesti.

Conference call with Sergeant Houston

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