“Among the tribute paid to the plaque with the poetry prayer of Ernesto Olivero and Donizetti’s Requiem Mass, the space of words is dutifully limited; and aimed only at essential reflections. Here in Bergamo, tonight, there is Italy that has suffered, that has been wounded, that has cried, “said the head of state who also spoke of” mistakes not to be repeated “. But above all the president has the importance of remembering: “Remembering first of all means remembering our dead and it also means becoming fully aware of what has happened. Without giving in to the illusory temptation to put these dramatic months in brackets to resume as before. Remember – urged the Head of State – it means thinking seriously with rigorous precision, on what did not work, on system shortcomings, on errors to avoid repeating. It also means remembering the value of what has been positive. The extraordinary availability and humanity of doctors, nurses, health personnel, public administrators, women and men of civil protection, soldiers, law enforcement officers, volunteers. They should be thanked: today and in the future. Here – as elsewhere – it was possible to measure the value and thickness of these testimonies concretely “.
“My participation wants to testify – said Mattarella – the proximity of the Republic to the citizens of this land so badly affected. Bergamo today represents the whole of Italy, the heart of the Republic, who bows before the thousands of women and men killed by a disease, still largely unknown and who continues to threaten the world, after having suddenly forced him to stop or, in any case, to slow down his activities “. The president recalled the pain of those who could neither see their loved ones before death nor be able to give him their last farewell. “Today we meet here to remember. To remember the many who are no longer there. Of the mourning that has touched many families, leaving in our communities a void that nothing can fill“. During the lockdown the cemeteries were also closed and it was forbidden to celebrate functions. An even greater suffering for those who have lost loved ones. Some families even suffered more than one mourning at the same time.
But recognition from the strength of a people also comes from the Quirinale: “Let us remember the moral energies emerged when, closed in our homes, squeezed between anguish and hope, we began to ask ourselves what our future would have been like. The future of our Italy. Memory loads us with responsibility. Without cultivating it we would risk being trapped by inertia, laziness, old vices to overcome. From what happened we must, however, come out looking ahead. With the willingness to change and rebuild that other generations have had before ours. ” Forces and energies that must come in handy in the near future: “The road to restart is narrow and uphill. It must be traveled with courage and determination. With tenacity, with obstinacy, with a spirit of sacrifice. These are the qualities of this land, which today speak to all of Italy to say that together we can look to our future with confidence “.
Mattarella then spoke of the work of the first citizens who were also involved in the front line against the effects of the pandemic which has now caused almost half a million deaths in the world: “As the mayors well know – which, I would like to remember also here, in the most difficult, they worked with the greatest dedication – they were formed and implemented in every municipality, tbefore solidarity networks. A silent majority but concrete of our people who, without pretending anything, took action and allowed the country to face the many difficulties and continue to live. Sense of duty and goodwill of individuals. These resources, together with the spirit of sacrifice and respect for the rules, which the vast majority of our fellow citizens have shown, constitute a precious patrimony for the country, not to be dispersed “.
Before the concert, the reading of the farewell to the mountains from Alessandro Manzoni’s Betrothed by the artistic director of the Donizetti Opera festival, Francesco Micheli. There Requiem mass, organized by the Municipality of Bergamo and the Donizetti Theater Foundation, was performed by the orchestra and choir of the Donizetti Opera Festival. On the podium of the Orchestra and Choir Donizetti Opera, the musical director of the Festival Riccardo Frizza.