To help honor the nearly 11,000 members of the U.S. armed forces buried or memorialized at Sicily-Rome American Cemetery in Italy, a new visitor center was dedicated on May 26, 2014.
The 2,500-square-foot center, which is free and open to the public, honors those who fought in the World War II Italian campaign from Sicily to the liberation of Rome. Through interpretive exhibits that incorporate personal stories, photographs, films, and interactive displays, visitors will gain a better understanding of this critical campaign that contributed to the Allied victory in Europe during World War II. Most importantly, the center connects the visitor with some of the men and women buried or memorialized there on Italian soil, including:
- Sgt. Sylvester Antolak, U.S. Army, 3rd Infantry Division
- 1st Lt. George McCrumby, U.S. Army Air Forces, 99th Fighter Squadron, 79th Fighter Group
- Capt. Henry T. Waskow, U.S. Army, 36th Infantry Division
- 1st Lt. Robert Waugh, U.S. Army, 85th Infantry Division
- SM 3rd Class George F. Cope, U.S. Navy, USS PC-558
- 2nd Lt. Curg K. Cress, 376th Bombardment Group
- Sgt. Thomas S. Sullivan, U.S. Army 3rd Ranger Battalion
- Vernon W. Preble, U.S. Civilian, American Field Service
- Sgt. Horace A. Sitton, U.S. Army, 82nd Airborne Division
- Pvt. Paul E. Auger, U.S. Army, 88th Infantry Division
- 2nd Lt. Ellen G. Ainsworth, 56th Evacuation Hospital
- Pfc. Edward J. McAlice, U.S. Army, 1st Armored Division
- Pfc. Leo J. Comeau, U.S. Army, 34th Infantry Division
The Sicily-Rome facility is one of three ABMC visitor center projects completed in 2014. David J. Lane, U.S. Ambassador to UN Agencies in Rome, and Darrell Dorgan, ABMC Commissioner, helped mark the official opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Other attendees included World War II veteran Eugene Gutierrez from the 1st Special Service Forces and family members of those honored at the cemetery.
About the Design and Construction:
The architecture and engineering firm of Ottavio DI Blasi of Milan, Italy designed the new center, which was built by Pasqualucci Impressa Di Costruzioni. Exhibit design was completed by the U.S. firm of Gallagher & Associates, Silver Spring, Md. The visitor center design was approved by the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts.
About the American Battle Monuments Commission:
Established by Congress in 1923, the American Battle Monuments Commission commemorates the service, achievements, and sacrifice of U.S. armed forces. ABMC administers 25 overseas military cemeteries, and 26 memorials, monuments, and markers.