NAPLES, Italy – U.S. Navy Admiral James Foggo, commander of Allied Joint Force Command Naples, marked Italy’s Liberation Day with a visit to his father’s cousin’s grave in Gradara, April 25.
Captain James Anderson fought with the King's Royal Rifle Corps during World War II and was killed in action in 1944. Foggo’s father was fighting the Germans in the north after the landing in Normandy when Anderson arrived to southern Italy with the British Forces. Anderson, a father of two, died at the age of 35 while serving in the campaign to liberate Italy.
"Captain James Anderson came to Italy with the same mission my father had: to fight tyranny,” said Foggo during a ceremony in Gradara. "James died while my father survived.”
The commander of JFC Naples also noted that he’s the first from his family to visit Anderson’s tomb.
"It is an honor for me to do so on the very day marking the anniversary of the liberation of Italy,” Foggo said.
During an April 20 gathering of JFC Naples personnel, the commander touched on the lasting impact of Allied troops in the region.
"Many people made sacrifices during the time of the second World War to eliminate tyranny and provide for peace,” said Foggo. "And if you think about that, that’s what we are doing throughout the region today.”
Foggo noted that Anderson’s sacrifice was not senseless as it contributed to the freedom many enjoy today. He ended his remarks at the Liberation Day ceremony with a message of enduring commitment and the strength of an Alliance.
"If James were alive today, I think he would be proud of the Alliance and of this country, Italy, for which he died,” said Foggo. "Thank you very much, James. Long live Italy, long live the NATO Alliance.”
Story by JFC Naples Public Affairs Office