Islamabad: Italy’s embassy in Pakistan led by Ambassador Andreas Ferrarese celebrated the National Unity and Armed Forces Day here Sunday.
This day is celebrated since 1919 which commemorates the victory in World War I, a war event considered the completion of the process of unification of Italy.
It is celebrated every 4 November, which is the anniversary of the armistice of Villa Giusti becoming effective in 1918 declaring Austria-Hungary’s surrender.
Italy entered the First World War in 1915 with the aim of completing national unity: for this reason, the Italian intervention in the First World War is also considered the Fourth Italian War of Independence, in a historiographical perspective that identifies in the latter the conclusion of the unification of Italy, whose military actions began during the revolutions of 1848 with the First Italian War of Independence.
The Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye (1919) and the Treaty of Rapallo (1920) allowed the annexation of Trentino Alto-Adige, Julian March, Istria, Kvarner as well as the Dalmatian city of Zara; the subsequent Treaty of Rome (1924) led to the annexation of the city of Fiume to Italy.
Established in 1919, 4 November is the only Italian national holiday which has gone through decades of Italian history: from the liberal period to fascist and republican Italy.
In 1921, during the National Unity and Armed Forces Day, the Italian Unknown Soldier (Milite Ignoto) was solemnly buried at the Altare della Patria in Rome.
In 1922, shortly after the march on Rome, the holiday changed its name to Anniversario della Vittoria (Victory Anniversary) to emphasize Italian military power, while after the end of World War II, in 1949, the original meaning was restored, becoming the celebration of Italian armed forces and the achievement of Italian Unity.
With the birth of the Italian Republic in 1946, the national anthem was changed: the Marcia Reale was replaced by Il Canto degli Italiani, which was officially played for the first time as the Italian national anthem on the occasion of the National Unity and Armed Forces Day on 4 November 1946.
November 4 was a holiday until 1976. From 1977, during austerity, it became a moveable feast according to the calendar reform of national holidays introduced by law n. 54 of 5 March 1977, and celebrations occurred every first Sunday of November.
During the 1980s and 1990s, its importance declined but in the 2000s, thanks to the impulse given by former president of the republic Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, who has been a main protagonist of a general valorization of Italian national symbols, the holiday gained more widespread celebrations.