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'Friendship Day' will celebrate Italian ties

In 1944 the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division fought an eight-day battle which liberated the Italian town of Vernio from Nazi forces.

Later this year a group of Red Bulls, who are headquartered in Rosemount, will travel to Italy to commemorate the liberation of the village 70 years ago and to continue the longstanding relationship between the Red Bulls and Vernio.

In the same vein, Rosemount Mayor Bill Droste proclaimed May 16 Vernio-Rosemount Friendship Day in the city of Rosemount. Droste said the proclamation honors the link the two cities share in that the Red Bulls have made a positive impact in both communities.

Vernio is a small village located northwest of Florence. In September 1944, the 34th was part of a campaign which advanced north through the mountains to overtake German fortifications including Vernio.

Droste said the sacrifices of American forces to free the people of Vernio created long-lasting ties between the two communities. The proclamation, Droste said expresses the historical connections and bonds the two communities.

In 2009, the people of Vernio dedicated a marker along the mountain pass in which the Minnesota National Guard division battled. The road has been named Via 34th Divisione di fanteria Red Bull or the Red Bull Highway.

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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