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Master-at-Arms 1st Class Gregory Pannullo of Clark, New Jersey, guides military working dog Aki through a trail in search of simulated explosives at Combined Arms Training Center, Camp Fuji, Japan. Members from all four military branches gathered to participate in the training. The photo was submitted by the Navy Office of Community Outreach, which collects and distributes military photos to the hometowns of our military heroes.
The U.S. troops that fought and died in Europe are many in numerous locations. Two significant cemeteries are located in Italy.
The World War II Sicily-Rome American Cemetery and Memorial site in Italy is located about 30 miles south of Rome and covers 77 acres, rising in a gentle slope from a broad pool with an island and memorial to the missing in action, flanked by groups of majestic cypress trees. Beyond the pool is the immense field of headstones of the 7,858 U.S. soldiers who are laid to rest in the cemetery. The headstones are arranged in gentle arcs on broad green lawns beneath rows of Roman pines. The majority of these individuals died in the Liberation of Sicily, (July – August, 1943; in the landings in the Salerno Area, September, 1943 and the Battle of Anzio, January – May 1944.
A wide central mall leads to the memorial, richly decorated with works of art and architecture, expressing our country’s remembrance of the dead. It consists of a chapel to the south, a peristyle and a map room to the north. On the white marble walls of the chapel are engraved the names of 3,095 of the missing. Rosettes mark the names of those since recovered and identified. The map room contains a bronze relief map and four fresco maps depicting the military operations in Sicily and Italy. At each end of the memorial are ornamental Italian gardens.
A new, 2,500-square-foot center visitor’s center opened in May 2014. The exhibits incorporate personal stories, photographs, films and interactive displays.
The Florence American Cemetery and Memorial is located south of the city and covers 70 acres. Between the two entrance buildings, a bridge leads to the burial area where the headstones of 4,393 of our military dead, arrayed in symmetrical curved rows surround the hillside. They represent about 40% of the U.S. Fifth Army burials originally made between Rome and the Alps. Most died in the fighting that occurred after the capture of Rome in June 1944. Included among them are casualties of the heavy fighting in the Apennines Mountains shortly before the war’s end.
Above the graves, on the topmost of three broad terraces, stands the memorial marked by a tall pylon surmounted by a large sculptured figure. The memorial has two open courts, joined by the Tablets of the Missing on which are inscribed 1,409 names. Rosettes mark the names of those since recovered and identified. The atrium at the south end of the Tablets of the Missing serves as a forecourt to the chapel, which is decorated with marble and mosaic. The north atrium contains the marble operations maps recording the achievements of the American Armed Forces in this region.