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Entire Lesson in Printable .PDF

Grade Level 10th

Return to Italy 2003 – Veteran Comments Activity

Background: In the mid 1960’s the National Association began what would be known as their “Return to Italy” trip. Every three years or so veterans, wives, children and friends would travel back to Italy to pay their respects to fallen comrades and to revisit some of the places where they fought. War, though, was not always tragic and many friendships were formed between the soldiers and Italian civilians. Returning to Italy would rekindle these friendships.  For the veterans returning memories suppressed for many a year would resurface, sometimes bringing laughter and sometimes bringing tears.

During the 2003 “Viva Italia” trip, videographers, Abbie Kealy and Bill were able to capture the rich legacy of the 10th Mountain Division as only the troopers can tell it. As Abbie notes, “Blending Italy’s natural beauty with interviews from nearly 50 troopers, their anecdotes vividly illuminate the price of peace and the cost of war in very personal terms. From moving ceremonies…lively street dances…battlefield tours…to mountain top memorial services, the journey is an unforgettable tribute to the soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division.”

Directions: Due to the activities involved with this lesson, you must Print out the lesson in .pdf and submit your answers to

  1. Before viewing the 2003 Return to Italy Trip, complete the “Before You Begin” assignment and print the “Thoughts/Impressions/Questions/Connections worksheet.
  2. View the 2003 Return to Italy Trip.  As you view the film, fill-in the “Thoughts/Impressions/Questions, Connections” worksheet.
  3. Anecdotes and recollections will be made by a number of veterans throughout the DVD. Select any ten anecdotes or recollections of your choosing then:     
  4. Identify the soldier
  5. His unit (i.e., 87-K)
  6. Briefly summarize his anecdote/recollection
  7. In a paragraph or two, comment on his anecdote/recollection.
  8. Upon Completion, send: the Before You Begin worksheet, the Thoughts/Impressions/Questions/Connections worksheet, and your Anecdote/Recollection .

 Before You Begin Questions

Create a Word document and title it, “Before You Begin Questions”. Then answer the following questions.

  1. When you think of a WWII veteran what comes to mind?
  • What do you think it was like living during WWII?
  • You will be listening to a number of veterans talking about WWII. What do you think they will be talking about?
  • Have you ever been to Italy? If yes, what did you think about your visit? In not, do you have any desire to go there? Why or why not?
  • Look up the word “camaraderie” and in your own words explain what you think it means.