NETTUNO, Italy -- Commander, U.S. 6th Fleet traveled to the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery and Memorial in Nettuno, Italy, to honor American service members who have lost their lives in the line of duty, May 26.
Vice Adm. Phil Davidson, commander, U.S 6th Fleet, attended the memorial service as a guest speaker to honor 7,861 dead and 3,095 missing American sons and daughters who sacrificed everything in defense of the nation.
"Memorial Day is the occasion where we honor those who have sacrificed their lives in the service of our nation," said Davidson. "I thank God for the men and women who went before us for the liberty and the freedom they provided their generation and the generations that followed."
Americans and Italians alike participated in the memorial ceremony at Nettuno.
"For those of us stationed in Italy, the Italians are great partners and we appreciate their friendship and support in everything we do," said Davidson.
The Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe band also participated along with an Italian military band.
"It was good to perform here. I'm glad so many people still appreciate the sacrifices made here," said Musician 2nd Class Amber Hosmer. "What they did was very important and they are not forgotten."
Following the remarks, wreaths were laid and an Italian firing detail honored veterans with a 21-gun salute before "Taps" was played.
"These brave men made the ultimate sacrifice, and they were willing to defend us knowing full well they may," said John Mitchell, a U.S. Navy veteran. "It's as Thomas Jefferson said, 'eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.'"
Nettuno and Anzio, Italy, are the locations of Operation Shingle, an Allied amphibious landing during World War II.