Italy honours its covid dead with day of remembrance

Italy marks second edition of 'Giornata nazionale in memoria delle vittime di covid' on 18 March.

Italian president Sergio Mattarella on Friday paid tribute to the victims of covid and to all frontline workers during the pandemic, on the occasion of Italy's second national day of remembrance for all those who died from the coronavirus.

Last year Italy established the annual day to commemorate the grim events of 18 March 2020: on this night two years a convoy of army trucks carried the coffins of covid victims out of Bergamo because the cemeteries in the north Italian city were full to capacity.

Army trucks carry the covid dead out of Bergamo, 18 March 2020.

The shocking image "contained the tragedy of the entire pandemic", Mattarella said today, with the date remaining "engraved in the memory of Italians."

Mattarella said that Italy is committed to guaranteeing "the rhythms of a renewed life, without forgetting the lesson of what has happened".

The president also expressed gratitude to the nation's frontline workers and volunteers and to Italians for their "spirit of sacrifice".

Commemorative events are planned from north to south of Italy, with the speaker of the lower house Roberto Fico to attend a ceremony in Bergamo, a city devastated by the first wave of the coronavirus.

Italian state broadcaster RAI is dedicating a day of television and radio programmes looking back on the impact of covid-19 on Italy, as the country prepares to exit the state of emergency after more than two years.

Photo Corriere Bergamo - Corriere della Sera