Fabrizio Quattrocchi, Italian Hero, May 9, 1968-April 14, 2004
This man and his name are honored by me each year. You may not remember that singular name so allow me to remind you of his importance to this world.
Fabrizio - I use his first name as I think he was the type that would have enjoyed having a woman do so and that he'd smile in that suave Italian way and maybe even wink - was an Italian security guard in Iraq. He was kidnapped and held by terrorists and, in the end, made to dig his own grave and kneel at its edge before they killed him.
It was his decision at that moment - that hinge upon which my world turned that day - to defy them, their beliefs and their utter callowness. I like to think he was even defying God in that moment, a God that would allow such nonsense to not only be permitted but to thrive.
I shall quote from the Wikipedia entry, "Quattrocchi's kidnappers forced him to dig his own grave and kneel beside it wearing a hood as they prepared to film his death, but he defied them by pulling off the hood and shouting "Adesso (or ora) vi faccio vedere come muore un italiano!" -- "Now I will show you how an Italian dies!" He was then shot in the back of the neck."
My GOD. Does it get any better than that? Can you be more of a Man than that?! It as as large a FUCK YOU as any man has ever delivered in modern time and I adore him for it. So allow me this moment - this shaking, tear verging moment, won't you?
Oh, and it makes me grin, it does, in that feral way that a soldier knows. I can feel deep in the belly a stirring that is respect - the kind that is known only in one soldier to another. I have felt it only rarely in the past but it tells me, subtly, that once there was a time when the armor rattled on bones.
Tomorrow night, Fabrizio, we shall dine on Italian - some puttanesca, I think - and drink to your name. Saluto!