Italy Giardino Salvo D'Acquisto

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Sue Wolfe

About this spot
In a small garden on the south end of the Bologna’s Old City stands the statue dedicated to Salvo Rosario Antonio D’Acquisto. The memorial, dedicated on May 19, 2007, honors the Napoletano hero.

D’Acquisto enlisted in the Carabinieri as a volunteer in 1939 and joined the military in 1940. Before being injured in battle, he served in the North African Campaign in Benghazi. During a 3-month leave he attended a course for promotion to deputy brigadier. After earning the rank of Vice-Brigadier, he was assigned to a police station in Torrimpietra, 30 kilometers away from Rome.

In 1943, a unit of German paratroopers were encamped in the area. While inspecting abandoned ammunition crates they were hit by an accidental explosion. Two paratroopers died and two others were injured. The German marshal blamed the locals and demanded that D’Acquisto find the perpetrators. While D’Acquisto tried to convince the Germans it was an accident, they were not persuaded. They proceeded to round up 22 random men to be executed. D’Acquisto was taken from the barracks to watch as the prisoners were forced to dig a large mass grave for their execution by firing squad.

To save the innocent men, D’Acquisto took responsibility for the explosion, was executed, and the 22 prisoners released. Two women from the area dug up his body and gave it a proper burial in Palidoro Cemetery. Later, his mother was able to have the remains transferred to the Basilica of Santa Chiara in Naples.

D’Acquisto was awarded the Gold Medal for Military Valor for his sacrifice.

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