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AP PHOTOS: Veterans honor Italy's WWII uprising from home

Former partisan Rodolfo Lai, 92, nicknamed Rudy, waves from his balcony in Rome, Thursday, April 23, 2020.  On April 25 every year Italy celebrates th...
Former partisan Giuseppe Piantoni, 95, nicknamed "Valzer" poses in his house in Pradalunga, near Bergamo, northern Italy, Thursday, April 23, 2020. On...
Former partisan Ferruccio Milesi, 96, poses at his window in San Giovanni Bianco, near Bergamo, northern Italy, Thursday, April 23, 2020. On April 25 ...
Former partisan Mario Ciurli, 95, nicknamed 'Mariet', poses at his window, in Milan, Italy, Friday, April 24, 2020. On April 25 every year Italy celeb...
Former partisan Modesto Di Veglia, 93, waives his tricolored ANPI (Italian Partisans National Association) scarf from the balcony of his apartment in ...
Former partisan Massimo Pradella, 96,  poses at his window in Rome, Friday, April 24, 2020. On April 25 every year Italy celebrates the end of the Naz...
Italian former partisan Carlo Aresi, 90, nicknamed 'Corsaro', poses at home in Gazzaniga, near Bergamo, northern Italy, Thursday, April 23, 2020. On A...
Former partisan Giovanni Marzona, 92, nicknamed 'Alfa' poses outside his house in Milan, Italy, Friday, April 24, 2020.  On April 25 every year Italy ...
Former partisan Laura Wronowki, 96, poses at her window in Milan, Italy, Friday, April 24, 2020.  On April 25 every year Italy celebrates the end of t...
Former partisan Guido Ravenna, nicknamed 'Furio', 92, poses at his window in Milan, Italy, Friday, April 24, 2020. On April 25 every year Italy celebr...
Former partisan Silvio Anastasi, 88, poses at his window in Ascoli Piceno, central Italy, with the tricolored scarf of the ANPI (National Association ...
Former Partisan Odino Bernabei, 95, poses with an Italian flag on the terrace of his apartment, in Rome, Thursday, April 23, 2020. Odino Bernabei took...
Former Partisan Umberto Graziani, 96, poses at his window in Rome, Thursday, April 23, 2020. On April 25 every year Italy celebrates the end of the Na...
Former partisan Sante Giovannetti, 94, waves from a window of his house, in Rome, Friday, April 24, 2020. On April 25 every year Italy celebrates the ...
Former partisan Teresa Vergalli, 93, nicknamed Annuska, holds a note reading in Italian "Resistance always, long live Aprile 25", as she poses at her ...
A combo of 15 images showing fifteen former Italian partisans posing at their home in several Italian cities between Thursday, April 23, and Friday, A...

Former partisan Rodolfo Lai, 92, nicknamed Rudy, waves from his balcony in Rome, Thursday, April 23, 2020. On April 25 every year Italy celebrates th...

Former partisan Giuseppe Piantoni, 95, nicknamed "Valzer" poses in his house in Pradalunga, near Bergamo, northern Italy, Thursday, April 23, 2020. On...

Former partisan Ferruccio Milesi, 96, poses at his window in San Giovanni Bianco, near Bergamo, northern Italy, Thursday, April 23, 2020. On April 25 ...

Former partisan Mario Ciurli, 95, nicknamed 'Mariet', poses at his window, in Milan, Italy, Friday, April 24, 2020. On April 25 every year Italy celeb...

Former partisan Modesto Di Veglia, 93, waives his tricolored ANPI (Italian Partisans National Association) scarf from the balcony of his apartment in ...

Former partisan Massimo Pradella, 96, poses at his window in Rome, Friday, April 24, 2020. On April 25 every year Italy celebrates the end of the Naz...

Italian former partisan Carlo Aresi, 90, nicknamed 'Corsaro', poses at home in Gazzaniga, near Bergamo, northern Italy, Thursday, April 23, 2020. On A...

Former partisan Giovanni Marzona, 92, nicknamed 'Alfa' poses outside his house in Milan, Italy, Friday, April 24, 2020. On April 25 every year Italy ...

Former partisan Laura Wronowki, 96, poses at her window in Milan, Italy, Friday, April 24, 2020. On April 25 every year Italy celebrates the end of t...

Former partisan Guido Ravenna, nicknamed 'Furio', 92, poses at his window in Milan, Italy, Friday, April 24, 2020. On April 25 every year Italy celebr...

Former partisan Silvio Anastasi, 88, poses at his window in Ascoli Piceno, central Italy, with the tricolored scarf of the ANPI (National Association ...

Former Partisan Odino Bernabei, 95, poses with an Italian flag on the terrace of his apartment, in Rome, Thursday, April 23, 2020. Odino Bernabei took...

Former Partisan Umberto Graziani, 96, poses at his window in Rome, Thursday, April 23, 2020. On April 25 every year Italy celebrates the end of the Na...

Former partisan Sante Giovannetti, 94, waves from a window of his house, in Rome, Friday, April 24, 2020. On April 25 every year Italy celebrates the ...

Former partisan Teresa Vergalli, 93, nicknamed Annuska, holds a note reading in Italian "Resistance always, long live Aprile 25", as she poses at her ...

A combo of 15 images showing fifteen former Italian partisans posing at their home in several Italian cities between Thursday, April 23, and Friday, A...

ROME (AP) — Veterans of Italy's anti-Fascist World War II resistance have held marches throughout Italy every April 25 since 1945, to honor the uprising that helped end their country's Nazi occupation.

This year’s 75th anniversary was long anticipated among the dwindling band of elderly survivors. But lockdown measures in the coronavirus-afflicted country mean no marches can be held. So the veterans have resorted to the inventiveness they once employed in sabotage missions and guerrilla tactics against the Germans.

At 3 p.m. on Saturday, when the traditional parade would have started in Milan, where Italian Fascist ruler Benito Mussolini’s body was publicly displayed after his execution by resistance fighters, the National Association of Italian Partisans has invited all to sing “Bella Ciao,” the anthem of Italy’s communist resistance, a major component of the liberation efforts.

On the eve of the anniversary, Associated Press photographers portrayed 15 former partisans at their balconies and windows in several Italian cities. Two display their arrays of medals, most drape the tricolored Italian flag around their necks.

Rodolfo Lai, 92, who, aged 15, killed a German paratrooper with a hand grenade to protect an escaping Italian officer, lamented the cancellation of the marches.

"Never we would have imagined that after 75 years of our resistance against a visible enemy ... today we would have found ourselves resisting an enemy ... invisible and insidious,’’ Lai said from his Rome apartment, referring to the novel coronavirus.

Silvio Anastasi, 88, said life during the war "was much easier for me. The shrewdness, courage and tactical skills we used against the Nazi-Fascists are of no help today in fighting the coronavirus. I feel helpless.”

Elderly people are considered among the most vulnerable for potentially fatal complications of COVID-19.

When Umberto Graziani, 96, was asked how he will celebrate this year, he sounded resigned: “Nothing, no march, I’ll stay home, how sad.”

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Updated : 2021-03-05 22:38 GMT+08:00