A Soldier's Guide to Rome

INTRODUCTION Rome —which was occupied by the Germans in September, 1943 following the Italian Armistice —has been spared the ravages of war such as were suffered by her sister city, Naples. Perhaps sensing the certainty of their defeat and fearful of heightening the wrath of the world by sacking the city —for we know from the record that it was no sense of veneration which caused them to spare it —Rome was evacuated by the retreating Germans relatively undamaged by the occup­ation. On the morning of June 5 soldiers of the Fifth Army entered the city, bringing it liberation —not conquest, White Bread —not cannon. While here you have boundless opportunities to absorb the culture and antiquity of the Eternal City. Make the most of them. At the very mention of Rome's name what thoughts are aroused in everyman. Perhaps it is stories of Aeneas or of Romulus that come to mind, perhaps half-forgot­ ten lessons of Brutus stabbing Caesar, of Mark Antony proclaiming, «Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears »,of Nero playing his fiddle while the city burned. Or one may think more generally of «The grandeur that was Rome »,and of its mighty legions spreading their Empire throughout the world. Or the Catholic may think of the long line of 262 Popes from St. Peter to the present Pius XII who —except for a brief interval at Avignon —have their seat in Rome and be filled with thoughts of religious reverence. At no time, not even when Italians numbered themselves among our enemies, could one think of Rome as being of the enemy, for Rome is more than an Italian city, it belongs to the world because of common heritage. 5
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