On this day in 1945, the 10th Mountain Division (the U.S. Army’s mountain warfare unit during World War II), remembered the lives of their fallen in a memorial service held at the U.S. Military Cemetery in Castelfiorentino, Italy.
The service included music by the Army Band; prayers by Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish chaplains; a memorial address by Major General George P. Hays; the placing of a wreath; and the firing of volleys. It concluded with a bugler playing “Taps.”
In 1949, those interred at Castelfiorentino and other temporary cemeteries were relocated to the Florence American Cemetery, a 70-acre cemetery situated alongside the Greve River. New York architects McKim, Mead and White, along with landscape architects Clarke and Rapuano, designed the cemetery and memorial, which was completed in 1959.
Of the 4,402 servicemen and women interred at the Florence American Cemetery, 355 were part of the 10th Mountain Division. At last year’s Memorial Day service held at the cemetery, Boy Scouts placed carnations on the graves of the 10th Mountain Division’s fallen.
To learn more about the 10th Mountain Division and its ties to Colorado, check out DPL’s 10th Mountain Division Resource Center—the official repository for all records and artifacts related to the World War II 10th Mountain Division.