The Anzio Beachhead Veterans have been the force behind the placing of monuments to commemorate their sacrifices on the beach and to remeber their fallen brothers who paid the ultimate price to defend freedom in the world.
The first was a Unit Plaque installed in the building adjacent to the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery on October 18, 1986. One hundred and thirty members, associates and guests of the Anzio Beachhead Veterans of World War II were in attendance for the ceremony.
If you are in that area you may wish to visit this piece of memorabilia in honor of our companions who gave their all at Anzio.
In 1989 a stone was placed in front of the restored "Anzio Annie" at the United States Army Ordinance Museum at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Aberdeen Maryland. This has since been relocated to Fort Lee Virginia.
On May 26, 2006, while the USS Anzio was in the port of New York, a monument dedicated to all who serve on the Anzio beachhead was unveiled on the pier with the USS Anzio in the background.
The dedication was the culmination of a personal project of beachhead veteran Jim Luzzi (1st Armored Div.) It took Jim almost five years to obtain the necessary funding for this monument, but today his dream became a reality. It is Jim's intention to have this monument placed in Battery Park, one block from the World Trade Center.
The ceremony was attented by approximately 100 veterans and family members, city officials and the Mayor of Anzio, Candido De Angelis. After the ceremony, a reception was held aboard the USS ANZIO.
THIS MEMORIAL HONORS AMERICAN AND ALLIED FORCES
WHO FOUGHT ON ANZIO BEACHHEAD, ITALY
JANUARY 22 - MAY 25, 1944
ON JANUARY 22, 1944, AMERICAN ANS ALLIED LANDED AMPHIBIOUS FORCES ON THE ANZIO BEACHHEAD 20 MILES SOUTH OF ROME, INTENDING TO ENCIRCLE THE ENEMY, CUT OFF ITS SUPPLIES AND REDUCE ITS DEFENSES EFFECTIVELY ALLOWING THE ALLIED DRIVE NORTHWARD FROM CASSINO TO ROME.
FOR 124 DAYS ON THIS 15 BY 6 MILE FLAT BEACHHEAD OUR TROOPS WERE AFFORDED NO TACTICAL COVER FROM CONTINUOUS ARTILLERY FIRE FROM THE OUTNUMBERED ENEMY FORCES POSITIONED IN THE APENNINE HIGHGROUNDS ABOVE THEM. MORE THAN 67,000 ALLIED TROOPS WERE KILLED, WOUNDED OR CAPTURED DURING THE BLOODY BATTLE AND ENEMY CASUALTIES WERE APPROXIMATELY 30,000.
ON MAY 25, 1944, ALTHOUGH STILL SURROUNDED AND OUT NUMBERED, AND EXHAUSTED FROM THEIR FOUR MONTH-LONG FIGHT, OUR VALIENT FORCES BOLDLY ADVANCED, BREAKING OUT OF THE BEACHHEAD, AND ROLLED UP THE GUSTAV LINE. THEY LIBERATED ROME ON JUNE 4, 1944.
MAY THEIR SACRIFICES AND ACTS OF BRAVERY BE REMEMBERED ALWAYS.
The Mayor of Anzio's Speech at the
Unveiling Ceremony of
"The Beachhead Memorial Monument"
Salute to the present Authorities
Salute to the President of the Anzio Landing Veterans' Association
Salute to the Master of Ceremonies Mr. James Luzzi
Salute to the present Veterans
Salute to all the people present
Firstly, in the name of the City of Anzio, I'd like to thank all the people who allowed me to be here with you today, testifying the feelings of esteem and friendship which link us together with the United States of America.
Every year in Anzio , we solemnly commemorate what happened on the 22nd January 1944 when in the middle of the night the Anglo-American Landing marked the liberation from Nazi-Fascism and the end of tragic events: destructions, mournings, troubles, vexations, famine and illnesses.
We are deeply touched when we think that WWII caused the death of many Youngs, mined the future of many Countries , maimed and cancelled thousands of families.
I have been representing the city of Anzio as Prime Citizen for eight years. In this period I considered extremely necessary to emphasize and to keep green the memories of those years when American and Italian soldiers fought side by side to conquer LIBERTY.
To all the people present and also representing who can't be here with us today, I express my endless thanks for having been defended the ideals of freedom and democracy all over the world.
For this reason I accepted your invitation: it's an honour for the City of Anzio, as it was a noble deed to name the USS cruiser 48 to the City of Anzio. On the 25th April 2004 our President of the Republic , the Hon. Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, awarded a gold Medal for the Civil Merits of our citizens in the Liberation of Rome and of Italy.
These were the justifications:
"Anzio was a strategically important centre on the Tyrrhenian coast during WWII. It was the scenario of harsh battles among the opposite arrays, of devastating bombings, and fierce retaliations.
These caused the death of many citizens and children and nearly the complete destruction of the built-up areas, the port included. The population was forced to evacuate and to abandon estates and personal belongings and went to live in the nearby towns or in caves suffering many privations.
The Survivors were able to react against the horrors of war with dignity and courage and to face the uneasy reconstruction in the recent times of peace. Example admirable for its sense of sacrifice and patriotism."
Anzio won't forget. Today, it is a sunny resort of about 50.000 inhabitants, 50 Kms. Far from Rome, it is steadily growing up thanks to a vital past. Anzio is still looking at the future with the same enthusiasm of the Post- war years.
Today, I'm very pleased and proud to represent a city which is going to be remembered also through this Memorial Monument, a deed which testify evermore the feelings of friendship, esteem and brotherhood which link Anzio and the United States of America.
Many thanks, New York, for your welcome, thanks to you Veterans for your hearty hospitality, and concluding
Long live Freedom
Long live Italy
Long live the United States of America.
On July 22, 2007, a second Anzio monument was dedicated at the Pouch Boy Scout Camp on Staten Island, NY. Many veterans and community officials attended, including members of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, State Senator Andrew Lanza, Councilman Gentile, Capt. Robert Obrien, the USCG Commander of Ft. Wadsworth.
James Luzzi, (1st Armored Division) once again, was successful in obtaining the funds necessary for the construction of this monument.