This has been a difficult day here in Italy; the images of the physical destruction that has hit the Abruzzo this past week - and continues to - were replaced by images of the human lose. As the country observed a National Day of Mourning a funeral mass was held in L'Aquila for 200 of the victims. Traditionally today would be the one day of the Catholic Christian year when mass is not celebrated but a special dispensation was given by the Vatican. As well as a Cardinal celebrating the mass, an Imam paid tribute to the Muslim victims of the earthquake. In the rest of Italy flags flew at half-mast, many shops and stores were closed and events - sporting and cultural - were canceled.
And in the shadow of the events and after shocks - another last evening that we felt here in Roma - the festivities of Easter have taken on a sombre tone. Though families and friends will still gather for the traditional Easter lunches a good deal of joy has been taken out of the celebration.
In an note my dear friend Walter wrote: Fortunately, I was in Rome; so, I only had a taste. Of a dish I didn't order. That nobody had ordered.
Should you wish to donate to a relief fund here are a few links that may prove useful:
In Canada: the Canadian Red Cross
In the US: National Italian American Foundation
In Italy: Croce Rossa Italiana
10 aprile - Venerdi Santo