Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Men in Uniform
The Festa della Repubblica (Republic Day, 2 June) celebrates the reconstitution of the Italian Republic after World War 2. The big whoop, a monster military parade, is held in Rome. Here in Venice we got what amounted to an elaborate flag-raising ceremony.
The various armed forces were represented by men in uniform. They marched to canned music. It is hard to imagine that with all the unemployed and barely employed musicians in Venice, a decent band couldn't have been scraped up. Instead, recordings.
The contingents were announced, marched up the Piazzetta, and took their places at the base of the massive flag-poles that played a similar role in all the Ducal processions under the Venetian Republic. Meanwhile, the biggest brass they could muster were gathered on a red-carpeted podium in the lee of the Campanile. The Mayor of Venice was not to be seen among them.
After they contingents marched in and the national anthem was played, the flags were raised: the Italian flag, the flag of the European Union, and the Venetian flag. There was a thin smattering of applause; most of the spectators were tourists who had no idea what was going on.
After the flags were raised, the various contingents, from living heroes to fresh recruits, departed.
It was all about the uniforms. To see a few shots of the men in uniform, visit the gallery, where the story of the day is told in pictures.
[ MEN IN UNIFORM]