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"Memorial Day" Is not a National Holiday in Italy

Memorial Day is an American national holiday, which is observed on the last Monday of May. It commemorates all American men and women in the military who have sacrificed their lives to protect and defend the country’s freedom.

Italy recognizes its Fallen Soldiers every year on November 4th on a day called “La Guerra dei Caduti e delle Forze Armate” (The War of the Fallen Soldiers and of the Armed Forces). In 1919, at the end of World War I, November 4th had been declared a national holiday; however, for economic reasons and to increase the number of working days, in 1977 the Italian government issued law #54 and changed that. Although Italians have not observed Memorial Day as a national holiday on November 4th since this new law went into effect, they pose each year on November 4th for a moment of silence before a televised homage paid by the President of the Republic of Italy and other government officials to the “Milite Ignoto” monument (Unknown Soldier) at the “Altare della Patria” (National Monument) in Venice Square, in Rome.

"La Festa della Liberazione" (Liberation Day) is a national holiday in Italy and it is what Independence Day is to Americans. It is celebrated on April 25th to commemorate the end of World War II in 1945 with the fall of Fascism and the end of the Nazi occupation. In addition to formal political rallies and marching bands playing the national anthem and other hymns along the streets of every town in Italy, other festivities take place like food and wine tastings, flea markets, art and antique exhibitions and concerts for every generation. Fireworks end the festivities at night.

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