Marlborough’s Piave Square honors World War I veterans

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Marlborough’s Piave Square honors World War I veterans
This monument in Marlborough was designated as Piave Square in 1922 to honor Italian veterans who fought in World War I.

MARLBOROUGH – Piave Square is located between Beach Street, Liberty Street and South Street. This is the area where many of the Italian immigrants settled when they arrived in the United States. These Italians were known as the “swampers” because of the swamps and wetlands located in the area. Many of these immigrants served in both World War I and World War II.

The Piave River is located in northeastern Italy. The Battle of the Piave River (also known as the Battle of the Solstice) was fought between June 15 and 23, 1918 and was a decisive victory for the Italian Army against the Austro-Hungarian Empire during World War I. Italy was part of the Allied Forces while Austria-Hungary was part of the Central Powers. It was clear that the battle was the beginning of the end of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

In 1922 it was decided to raise a monument as a tribute to the Italian veterans who fought in World War I. This monument is to honor those men who served not only in the interest of their native country but a number of them also fought under the Stars and Stripes. The granite monument stands on a cement base and is nine feet high. The names are located on all four sides of the monument and are designated according to rank.

On October 12, 1922, the city celebrated with a parade and dedication exercises. During the ceremony Councilman Nicholas F. Benedetto paid tribute to the men who fought in World War I and stated the object of the Italian people in erecting a memorial was to honor these veterans who served during the conflict. Mayor Simoneau and other speakers who followed praised the valor of Italian servicemen and gave credit to their heroic deeds on the field of battle.

The unveiling of the monument was done by Daniel Santora, Antimo Pretiulingue, Umberta Bassanti and Damiano Bruno, who represented several Italian societies. There are 63 men honored on the monument. The city of Marlborough is proud of you.

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