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NEWS | Jan. 25, 2024

U.S. 6th Fleet visits Nettuno, participates in Battle of Anzio Commemoration Ceremony

By U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa / U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs

American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) hosted a ceremony to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Allied landings during World War II at Anzio and Nettuno, Jan. 24, at the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery in Nettuno, Italy. 


The Office of the Secretary of Defense designated U.S. European Command as the Department of Defense lead for the 80th anniversary of World War II in Europe, a commemorative period that runs from July 2023 to May 8, 2025.


Vice Adm. Thomas Ishee, commander, U.S. 6th Fleet, spoke at the ceremony of the importance of the commemoration of the landings.


“Eighty years ago, it was these Sailors and soldiers who stood the watch in defense of liberty, security and prosperity,” said Ishee. “It is in these moments we remember them and pay tribute to the heroes eternally resting on this sacred ground.”

Ishee added that World War II is a reminder that allies with a common purpose can deter aggression and keep global peace.

“It is extremely important that we remember these dark times in World War II and how it was the sacrifice of Americans and other nations that really brought us out of those dark times,” said Ishee. “Today, there is a lot of threat to security and stability, threat to freedom of navigation in the Black Sea, in the Red Sea and other places in the world. We should all remember that it is through our allies and partners that we come together and we overcome these challenges and these threats.”

Ishee highlighted how the United States and Italy’s partnership together and through NATO continues to be an example of the strength of alliance.

“Italy is one of the United States greatest allies,” said Ishee. “Over the last year we have had over a dozen Italian navy ships that have escorted our carriers, escorted our ships, and conducted operations. If we need something, we ask them, they help provide and we are equally supportive of them.”

During the commemoration, students shared individual stories of people buried or memorialized at the cemetery, capped by performances by the U.S. Naval Forces Europe Band. 

Edmund Ryan, ABMC executive director for operations, also added the importance of the event in making sure that future generations learn what happened in Italy 80 years ago. 

“It is really significant to see the families and children,” said Ryan. “The only way that we can continue to instill in our youth those same values that all these men fought for is to basically bring those families, bring those children in. We have partnerships with universities, and high schools in the local area to make sure that proper lessons are transmitted to these kids.”

Commemorations like this teach the significance of history and the commitment that U.S. Forces in Europe have to defend democracy, freedom, and security.

Headquartered in Naples, Italy, NAVEUR-NAVAF operates U.S. naval forces in the U.S. European Command and U.S. Africa Command areas of responsibility. U.S. 6th Fleet is permanently assigned to NAVEUR-NAVAF