If poor Italy had not had an already long trail of guilt and blood behind it, it would have to be said that our age of innocence ended on May 23, 1992. In Capaci one story ends and another begins. “Like all human things, the Mafia also has a beginning and will have an end …”, said Giovanni Falcone in a famous interview, just before jumping into the air on that damned straight on the A29 motorway, together with his wife Francesca Morvillo and three men from his escort. Unfortunately, the Mafia that has changed but is not yet finished that day, with a slaughter triggered by 400 kilos of TNT, inaugurated the tragic season of massacres, leading to the attack on the heart of the State after having contaminated and finally incarnated entire pieces. Today it is twenty-eight years since that spring-summer that the two magistrates-symbol of a fight with unequal arms against Cosa Nostra (after Falcone, Paolo Borsellino) took away. “It was our September 11th,” writes Francesco La Licata in the story you will read in this special of “La Stampa”. And our September 11 we wanted to celebrate it like this, with an exceptional memory of those people and of that time, because the pandemic also precluded this moment of collective memory to live and relive every time all together, as if we were really the nation united and cohesive that unfortunately we cannot be.
“Italy remembers Falcone only to clear his conscience”, Angelo Corbo, one of the escort agents who survived the attack, tells you in an interview you will find on these pages. And he is right too, who reminds us how we did not absorb Falcone’s lesson, because the mafia is not only a criminal organization, but it is mentality, it is culture, it is privilege. Viruses that we carry with us and that, today as then, poison public life and even institutions (as Falcone himself experienced on his own skin and how we continue to touch by reading the interceptions of the Palamara investigation). “This May 23rd we will not embrace each other and we will not be in the street to remember John’s sacrifice”, writes our sister Maria in our special, because the lockdown prevents us. But all the more reason this time we need an extra effort. To be the same, not to forget. We do it as we can, with our journalism. You do it as Maria asks you: exposing a white sheet from your balconies at 6 pm this afternoon. Allegory of that innocence that we lost, but that we must never tire of finding.
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