Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Rome: he was there during the last great war...

In her history many armies have liberated Rome. But now all those players are dead. Except for the few...the brave...the proud!

This past Monday I had the great honor to give a tour of the Vatican Museums to an Englishman who liberated Rome in June of 1944. For me, it was a proud moment as I helped him down the steps as we entered the Sistine Chapel.

He was a lovely man. Born in 1921. And he smiled the entire tour. And he's the only client I've ever had who wore a tie, smiled the whole time and laughed with a roar at every mild joke I made. This counts for a lot!

He explained that this was the first time he ever came back to Rome after the war. He had battled all the way up the peninsula and had even fought at Monte Cassino, where he's going tomorrow with his daughter and granddaughter.

After entering the Vatican Basilica he related, with a twinkle in his eye, how he had just told one of his old war buddies that he was going to Rome to see the Pope. The old friend laughed and said that was nice, but that he had actually met the Pope while in Rome in June, 1944. And what did the Pope say to him? Pius XII smiled at the English soldier as they shook hands and asked: "How is your family?"

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