Night of Europe – Rome, Italy. (2022)
In the night between the 30th and the 31st of May, from about 1 to 4am, thousands of members of the Italian armed forces marched through the deserted centre of the city, by the Roman forum and the Colosseum.
They were night-rehearsing the military parade of June 2, Italy’s Republic Day.
But this year the feel of the Roman night filled with armed soldiers wasn’t just like every year…
Italian singing legend Lucio Dalla wrote: “Thought is like the ocean. You can’t block it. You can’t put a fence around it”.
So, as I wandered through a night full of armed soldiers, my thoughts started going where maybe they shouldn’t have but where they still must listened to. Is really force – not talk or rules – still the fundamental way to defend your freedom and way of life? Do you really still need to prove that you can fight and hurt to sit at a negotiating table and not be humiliated, and hope to obtain some of what you wanted? Haven’t the Romans built these glorious monuments the soldiers are marching by through the blood of their formidable armies that imposed their right and their wrong on the whole know world ? Have we – here, in Europe- given too many important things (freedom for instance) for granted for too long to see that they may be challenged, threatened and demand we fight for them?