102-year-old World War II veteran returns to homeland, visits Sicily-Rome American Cemetery

Dominick Critelli, an Italian-born American World War II veteran who landed in Normandy and served in the Battle of the Bulge, visited Sicily-Rome American Cemetery on Oct. 10.

Critelli had expressed the desire to return to his birthplace in Calabria, Italy, following his 102nd birthday. Thanks to some sponsors and friends as well as his good health he was able to travel.

World War II veteran Dominick Critelli with an ABMC team member behind the headstone of one of his brothers in arms. Credits: ABMC.

At Sicily-Rome American Cemetery, the centenarian was welcomed by the ABMC team as well as officials from the cities of Nettuno and Anzio. Critelli visited the chapel and spoke—in Italian—about the horrors of the war, as well as the importance of fighting for freedom. He also brought his saxophone to play Taps to honor his fallen brothers in arms buried our memorialized at our site.

World War II veteran Dominick Critelli playing Taps for his comrades at Sicily-Rome American Cemetery. Credits: ABMC.

Sicily-Rome American Cemetery is one of the two American military cemeteries in Italy. It commemorates American service members who perished from the campaigns in Sicily and Italy through the liberation of Rome. Sicily-Rome American Cemetery includes the remains of almost 7,900 American service members and commemorates almost 3,100 individuals missing in action or lost or buried at sea whose names are engraved on the wall of the missing in the chapel.  

World War II veteran Dominick Critelli with the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery team during his visit of the site. Credits: ABMC.