During funeral services for the 19 Italians who died in the attack on their post in Iraq last Wednesday, the Vicar of Rome and President of the Italian Bishops Conference, Cardinal Camilo Ruini, said Italy will not be intimidated by terrorist assassins.” The Cardinal said Italians should not back down in the face of such attacks, but should “face them will the bravery, energy and determination of which we are capable.”
“But we will not hate them, we will seek to make them understand that Italy’s commitment, including its military participation, is geared toward the safeguarding and promotion of civilized coexistence in which the dignity of all is respected,” he said.
The coffins containing the 19 Italians were processed through the streets of Rome and more than 500,000 people came to pay their respects to their fallen countrymen. President Carlo Ciampi and Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, as well as other political leaders, were present for the ceremonies.
The day on which funeral services were to be held was declared a National Day of Mourning, and factories, businesses and schools interrupted their day for a few moments of silence. Media outlets also suspended commercial breaks.