This afternoon, Friday 10 March, the funeral of the pilot officers Giuseppe Cipriano and Marco Meneghello, who tragically disappeared in the plane crash that took place in the late morning of Tuesday 7 March, was held in the Parish of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Loreto di Guidonia at the controls of the U-208A aircraft, as part of a training mission near the air base of the 60th wing, in Guidonia.
The funeral ceremony was officiated by the military ordinary for Italy, ser monsignor Santo Marcianò, in the presence of the minister of defense Guido Crosetto, the undersecretaries of defense Isabella Rauti and of foreign affairs and international cooperation of Italy Giorgio Silli, and of numerous military, civil and religious authorities - including the Chief of Defense Staff Adm. Giuseppe Cavo Dragone and the Gold Medal of Military Valor Lieutenant Colonel Gianfranco Paglia - who gathered together with the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, General of the Air Force Luca Goretti, family members and colleagues for a last farewell to young pilots.
"It is touching that death caught them like this, in a fullness of life well explained by the words of Saint Paul - None of us lives for ourselves and no one dies for ourselves", said mgr. He marched during the homily. “Two lives united by an infinite passion for flying and great competence in carrying out their duties. Giuseppe: a long experience as a flight instructor, very valid and also in demand abroad, in schools, in peace support missions, as well as in support to civil protection for natural disasters and medical transport. Marco: a dedication delivered to different tasks, including air rescue and the transport of patients in biocontainment in the pandemic emergency from Covid 19. Two intense, albeit short, existences. Dear Giuseppe and Marco”, concluded the military ordinary, “We are heartbroken but we want to imagine you like this, happy. Happy not to have wasted your life in vain but to have been consumed in brotherly love, friendship and, above all, in a service that has been your passion, your dedication to the good of the people and of our country”.
At the conclusion of the funeral ceremony, after the reading of the Prayer of the Aviator, Colonel Michele Cesario, commander of the 60th wing, took the floor: “After several operational times, you have arrived here and your heart and your smile have accompanied us day after day. Passion, combined with competence and professionalism, has always been evident to all the guys you have flown with or with whom you have taught to fly…the young eagles, as they defined themselves in the messages they sometimes spontaneously wrote to you. Our heart today – concluded the col. Caesarius – find some peace, thinking that you have lived realizing your dream until the end and now you are beyond the horizon, under the clouds. Yes right there. blue skies”
As a sign of profound respect, mourning and closeness to the families of the two officers, today the flags of all the Air Force bases were hoisted at half-mast.