Voices from the world

Messages of sympathy and hope sent by Italians, descendants of Abruzzese and others from different areas of the world, are published here, to pass on the strength and courage they want to express.

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2009 Earthquake | By Place | By Subject | Titoli in Italiano

from Lori Herman

How is everything after the Quake? Are they still finding people? The United States is so saddened by this.

from Bill

Praise God!! Prayers from Chicago Illinois. I have family in Carapelle Calvisio and have determined their safety. The Abruzzese are strong indeed.

from Marjorie

I was so worried about your family and am so happy to hear that you are all safe. I wish the best Buona Pasqua to you. I have such fond memories of you and your family from my trip in 2000.

from Nanci

My maternal grandparents the Pellegrini's came from Capestrano, which from what I have been able to find out, did not have serious damage. I have been trying daily to find information on the internet and as of Friday, there hasn't been much. My heart aches for all of the people affected by this. I wish you all a Happy Easter.

from ---

I live in the UK and will be staying in Penne for a few weeks end of July; originally I had planned to visit L'Aquila for a couple of days before meeting up with my friends in Penne. It is difficult to know what kind of help is being organized and what will be needed so far in the future. However, I would like to be kept informed of any organization of help as we would like to do something. Buona Pasqua

from Ronnie

My heart is bleeding for everyone affected by this terrible disaster. I have been trying to reach family in Castelnuovo and Paganica. Living in the SF Bay Area and going through earthquakes...I can only imagine. As I said, thank you for the news and blessings to you for a Buona Pasqua.

from Maria Elena Mariani

Your communication to us is beautiful, thank you. My prayers are with you all, we have remembered the people from the part of the world where my ancestors are from. My mother from Castlenuovo and my father from Bazzano. May you have a blessed Easter and may you be filled with the hope given to us Christians in Jesus' resurrection. God bless you all.

from Elisa

Grazie for sending your diary out to Abruzzi people all over the world. I live in New York in America and heard about the earthquake on television. I immediately felt connected to my roots and sorrowful for all of you there. What can be done to help?

from Robert

I want to let you know how touched I am from reading your diary. I am the grandson of Michele & Maria Santavica of Barisciano. My last visit to L'Aquila & Barisciano was 30 years ago.
When I heard about the earthquake I was not aware that it had struck L'Aquila. It wasn't till a day later that I realized that L'Aquila was heavily affected and I have been glued to the TV ever since. Thank you again for sharing your very personal diary.

from Maria Isabel

Acabo de ver vuestro mail, lamentamos sinceramente lo sucedido en L·Aquila, nos pasamos todo el tiempo viendolo por televisión con mi familia, amo abruzzo por todo lo que me contó mi abuelo Margiotta de Chieti y su querido Rosello y toda Italia, nos sentimos italianos, muy Felices Pascuas a pesar de tanto dolor, un cariño:

from Joan

Our prayers are very much with you at this time. My family is from Navelli and Popoli and while I have not been able to visit these areas yet, I feel very sad for the destruction and the terrible loss of life. Thank you so much for having developed this site. Last night at Good Friday services here in Portland, Oregon I looked around and I saw at least 10 families either directly Italian or with an Italian relative. We all had what happened in L'Aquila in our minds and in our hearts. God bless all of you, keep safe, and we will keep you in our prayers.

from Katherine

I am so glad to hear that y'all are "well" - it may take some time to get one's life back to normal after such a traumatic event, but it will come - one step at a time. My prayers are with you.
I planned to visit L'Aquila in May. The purpose of my trip was to collect more historical demographic data at the Archivio di Stato. Last year I collected the demographic data for 32 towns of the Sulmona District (1810-1859).
The pictures of the Palazzo del Governo show that it is badly damaged. While I understand that the operations for saving human life are still ongoing through Sunday, I am wondering who I should contact about trying to volunteer while in the Abruzzo to try to save the historical documents of the state archive. Thank you

from Frank

The people of Abruzzo have our deepest concern, sympathies and prayers from the United States.

from Palmer (Palmerino)

Buona Pasqua to all of you from the DiPietro and Cianfagliona families in Columbus, Ohio. All of you are in our thoughts and prayers. We've been closely following the news and paying special attention for any mention of damage in Pratola Peligna, my family's home. Appears at this time that they suffered very limited damage, fortunately. If there is anything we can do to help or be of assistance, please let us know.

from Niamh

Thank you for sharing your story of courage with us. It has brought tears to our eyes here in New York. The world has been with you all in spirit since the moment we heard the news. You are all in our hearts and our prayers. With love and concern.

from Linda

Many Americans want to help. Can you tell us where to send a donation? Our prayers are with you.

from Loretta

I read your diary and I just want to say "keep up the writings into your journal". These notations one day will be important to those you leave behind. They are a remembrance of all history of Italy. You say in your diary that "Abbruzzi people are strong, private and do not like notoriety". This I know from the history of my Abbruzzese family. We are a proud people and we want to do for ourselves, but at times like this we must accept donations and help. Please tell me where to send donations for the Earthquake Relief. Buona Pasqua!


Thank you for the update. Even though I don't personally know anyone from the region, as an Italian American my heart and prayers go out to those who have suffered loss. I've been trying to find out the status of the village of Pescosansonesco where my grandparents came from. Do you have any information?

from Gail

Thank God you were spared. I live in South Florida and visited relatives in Nocella (Teramo) a few years ago and was concerned for their safety... thankfully, they too are OK. It is good that you are keeping a diary of the disaster, I did that also when we were struck by a horrible hurricane a few years ago. The devastation was unbelievable and very depressing. I felt as though we were living in a "third world" country, no electricity, no passable roads, trees down everywhere, no stores to shop in, no gas, no banks, etc.

We recovered, as L'Aquila and surrounding towns will too, but the landscape changed dramatically and things will never look the same.
This is a much bigger tragedy for the ancient buildings in Italy than it was for Florida, as Florida is so "young" compared to Italy.
From here in South Florida, we send our good wishes and prayers.

from Peter & Josie Ianni

Dear friends,
I am so sorry that I did not email you sooner but I was under the impression that all computers were not functioning because of the terrible catastrophe. At least that was the information I received from my family in L'Aquila. Thank God you are safe - as is the case for my family. I speak with them daily and feel so helpless.
I have had no problems in contacting my family on my mother's side but have heard nothing from my father's side of the family. Thank God you are all safe and in spite of the terrible situation you find yourselves in I wish all of you: Buona Pasqua. With great affection.

from Carol Cannon

Thank you for sharing your story, so tragic but somehow made beautiful, even sanctified by your words. Buona Pasqua to you and all your family. I am relieved to know that you have all survived, thank God, this terrible tragedy and my heart goes out to all of you, and my prayers. This morning, this Easter morning as I am having my coffee on the front porch, I talk to Jesus, the risen Jesus, and I ask Him the same old question, "Why?" I ask the same old favor, "Please, God, open my eyes. Show me what is real, what really matters." And then the thought of perfect love comes to me. " But what is perfect love?" I ask. And then, immediately I remember what Christ tells us about love, how he instructs us to love one another and to love our neigbors as ourselves. Sometimes, I get so caught up in the stupid, ordinary frustrations of my life that I forget what real suffering is. I forget the words, the instructions about perfect love from the mind and mouth of God.

I finish my coffee and my talk with God and go up to my room to check my email. There is a message from abruzzoheritage. I open and click on the link to your story. I see the suffering and destruction that your words depict and I am shocked, brought back to reality, my eyes are opened and I feel that love for my neighbors, for you and your family and your people, who are, by the blood of my ancestors, my people too. Is this a coincidence as well, or is God working his wonders in little ways, little shock waves that reach out across mountains and oceans and touch the heart of a solitary woman sitting on her porch asking God to open her eyes? Thank you for helping God to open my eyes on such a fitting time as Easter morning. I will share your story with my children and grandchildren when they come today for Easter dinner. God bless you all.

from Federazione Abruzzese, Hamilton Canada

Buona Pasqua, Happy Easter

The tragic event that hit Abruzzo, more precisely Aquila is being felt around the globe. In Hamilton, Ontario, the Italian Canadian Community is approximately 80,000, of which 30,000 or more have Abruzzo roots.
The Federazione Abruzzese, the National Congress of Italian Canadians-Hamilton District, the Italian Canadian clubs and associations have come together to form a committee of volunteers, known as: "the Italian Earthquake Fund". The objective is to raise funds to help with the rebuilding, not so much as for now.
The Canadian Red Cross, the Canadian Rotary Clubs and other associations are accetping donations and pledges of moneys to forward to the corresponding Italian agencies for distributions as they see fit.
The newly formed Italian Earthquake Fund will concentrate on events, donations and sponsorships to help with the rebuilding of homes, churches, schools etc On Saturday, April 18, 2009, 11:00 a.m. the Rev. Bishop Anthony Tonnos will celebrate Holy Mass at the Cathedral..Over 900 people are expected to attend. Participating at this event will be local Italian singers, choirs, government officials from the Government of Canada, Ontario Government and Hamilton Municipal Government. I shall keep you posted as to the progress of our fund raising efforts.
Distinti saluti,
Miriam Olivieri, President
National Congress of Italian Canadians-Hamilton District Member of the Italian Earthquake Committee Fund

from Alex

Thank you for your email I am so glad to hear of yours and the teams news, thank God you are all safe. May I wish you all a very Holy Easter with the hope of you all rebuilding a peaceful and serene life.
My very best wishes,

from Michigan, USA

I live in Michigan in the United States. My family is from Sella Di Corno and I had the opportunity to visit that area about 10 years ago with my Great Aunt (took the bus into L'Aquila where the family picked us up). We have heard from our family and I thank God that they are all doing well. You and everyone from that area have been in my prayers all week (and continue to be). My hope for you is that you find peace as you begin to reconstruct your lives and your town. Happy Easter!

from Julietta

Thank you for informing and sharing about the horrendous earthquake disaster, astonishing events. It was sad.....with tears.. God Bless to all that have survived, prayers for all who have perished.

from Fatima

I was very shocked by the tragedy that struck L'Aquila, this proud land of my ancestors. But despite the sorrow, I was glad to read your diary, and as much as I have been sad not to be able to be there and give my support for those who need, I was almost transported there by reading your story. It made me feel closer and somehow connected to the people there. I have kids the same age as yours, and I undestand what must have been for a town losing their youngs. Some images I saw on TV, I will never forget, like the old lady with Berlusconi, it made me think of my late grandma, brought to Brasil as an infant, only 1 year old, but strangely never lost her strong italian accent...

As just now I have arrived home from the holidays (Pascoa) with my family, and read your email, I realized by your descriptons that the strange dream I had last night, been walking inside a strangers home, a beautiful apartment, with some ancient items, a place I have never been to, could possibly be somewhere there...I could remember details of this place, it was empty but intact, all doors blocked. Many people here in Brasil are worried about relatives, many people have come from Abruzzo to Brasil a hundred years ago (or less), like my grandfather. He was very tough, "come gli abruzzesi", he used to say. That's how I pray for you, and I know you are going to get through all this pain and get even stronger. Be strong to rebuild your place, your lives, your history. And also, I'd like to say thank you for your diary, and above all, have faith. Believe good things can come from bad moments. We are all here praying for you. Give my regards for all your family, dear friends and neighbors, I wish you all a very Buona Pasqua. From me and all the De Marco family here,

from Gio

Hello, I want only to thank you for sending the blog messages from L'Aquila. They were very touching and very, very well-written. I am a writer whose grandparents came to America from Abruzzo. Even with the sadness I continue to feel great pride in my heritage. Thank you again..

from Suzanne

Grazie mille. Thank you so much for your diary.
We lived in Abruzzo for a year and a half, in Avezzano, and have left our hearts there. A dear friend who is currently living here, in Idaho, has parents and a brother who live in the center of L'Aquila. They survived and are very fortunate to have a house on the sea. I have been searching the internet for news. It is difficult as my italian is limited. Your diary is so heartfelt, real and accurate. It makes it clear for those of us far away. Please continue so many of us can live through your experience. Thank you.

from Mary

I have read your beautiful journal. As you know, here in New Orleans we were struck by Hurricane Katrina on August 29, 2005. Our levies needed to be repaired, people were complaining about them. The powers that be did nothing and, as we all know, they broke on that day. Fortunately, our family was spared. After two weeks we drove thru the devastation, it reminded me of what it must have been like when a city was bombed during the war. It was absolutely heart wrenching. I thought our beautiful city would NEVER be the same. I saw the look of total despair on the people that lost everything...as you said, even their teeth! Many things that could never be replaced. If I hadn't gone thru Katrina, I would not be able to sense somewhat of what you are going thru....you see, God has a plan for all of us.

Our city IS rebuilding, and has come back, little by little, better than ever. HAVE COURAGE, I promise, it will get better. My grandparents were born in Abruzzo. I agree, we are strong, resilient people. Know that our thoughts an prayers are with you, your family, and all the earthquake victims. God Bless You!

from Lelia

Happy to hear you're all safe: Very sad to hear of the devastion in L'Aquila and other parts of the region. My mother's town of Santo Stefano di Sessanio suffered some damage, especially the torre, but thank God no casualties as other towns have suffered. Our prayers are with you always.

from Anna Maria

My heart felt sympathies for all the people who got caught in the earth quake. We have just been through shocking bush fire disasters in Eastern Victoria (Australia) and bad floods last year, straight after more bushfires, so I know how it feels to be caught in such natural disasters. But, if you all stick together and help each other, you will recover. Like we do in Australia.

from Cheryl

Hi there!
My partner Mario and I recently wrote a book on his childhood in the Abruzzo region and L'Aquila, called CHEWING GUM IN HOLY WATER. It details this magical place and the amazing adventures he had as a boy travelling the hilltop villages of the region with his uncle a travelling priest. Strange to think that some of it is now a record, as several of the historical structures mentioned are gone. The book is out in the USA and Australia/NZ and is available online through Amazon.

Mario is there now in the midst of the earthquake tragedy. He sent me a text three hours after the tragedy saying "lots of dead people everywhere". He was woken at 3.30 am with his bed sliding across the room, tipping and jamming him between the bed and the wall for a terrifying 30 seconds. All this in the dark. People then ran screaming outside. His mother's house, where he was born, is in ruins, friends are dead and there is also a great loss of heritage with many of the art treasures and historical structures damaged in L'Aquila. He told me about a major aftershock: he was in a friend's house and said a tree he was looking at outside went out of view and then came back into view again...the whole house had moved sideways by about 12 inches! People spent the first few nights sleeping outside in the cold, too terrified to sleep inside buildings due to the hundreds of aftershocks.

Let us hope these brave people recover their lives, their homes, their businesses, and much of their artistic and architectural heritage. The Abruzzese are a strong, proud people and they will recover, although after such a tragedy it will take time. My thoughts, like those of many others, are with them. Regards,

from Patricia

I write you with a great saddness concerning the earthquake in L'Aquila. I visited this very place two years ago with my husband and cousin after "locating" family in Abruzzo about ten years ago. We fell in love with the region and I feel a deep connection, as this is where my family is originally from. We were frantic last week upon hearing the news here in New York. I finally was able to get through to my "cugini" by cell phone. They are all well, but lost much. But they are very grateful to God for their lives. I am looking forward to returning to L'Aquila soon and pray for its return. God bless you all. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

from Marie Ranalletta (Iocca) Hartman

I hope all is better there and that Easter went by calmly and peacefully. I am copying a post from a friend, that was sent to my by my cousin in Springfield, IL. There are probably more caliscini there than the current population of Calascio. My father's family is from Celano as well, so I have two sorrows in this situation. I thought that some in the U.S. that receive your digest might also be interested in what is said here. I will leave it for you to post.

from Anna Colandreo

I know it is heartbreaking to see the devastation, and to bear the loss of family, and so many friends and coworkers, however, the Abruzzese blood that flows through all of us is "forte e gentile", as my mother always said, and this will bring you through all this bad time. I know that your town will be rebuilt again, as it has through other disasters, and you will all again, live the beautiful life you had before. It will not be the same, however, humans adjust, and we will all have the area in our hearts. All of those people who lost their lives will always be with you in your heart and memories, and so they will live on through you, and someday we will all be reunited in Heaven.

You, your family, and the entire area are in my daily prayers, and I hope that you will soon be able to get over the nightmares, and begin to live and enjoy life again. It will not be easy, but "this too shall pass".
My Pretara family does not live far from you, and thank God they are all fine. They slept in their cars for a few nights, but now all is OK. Love, peace, and prayers.
You, your family, and the entire town, are always in my heart.

from Nelda Antonelli D'Addario

Wed, Apr 22, 2009
Hi Giancarlo, reading your letter from the Abruzzo Guestbooks it was a joy that i start to cry. Just today i was talking with Tilde about our town and home all the poor citizens,it is hard to accept all wat it is happen there. So so sad just to watch the news Rai, imagine, that was about quarter to three in the morning my husband and I went to sleep and there was the news, I was frozen!!!!! This we will never forget ever. Please give my regard to every one home,Zia Lucia,cousins and all in your family, you try to be brave after all it is in God's Will. If you get this message and you feel to let me know more about every thing I'll be glad to ear from you soon. Saluti cari con affetto da me, Luciana e famiglia, spero un giorno di rincontrarci a te e famiglia un abbraccio, cugina Nelda. North Tonawanda, NY USA

from Ondina Clagnan Pimpini

Mon, Apr 20, 2009
Sono Ondina Clagnan Pimpini figlia di Luigi Clagnan nipote della signora Alma Ciocca ( deceduta) avrei desiderio di aver notizie dei miei cugini Lillo e Aris Ciocca residenti a l'Aquila. Se sarebbe quacuno che gli conoscesse gli sarei molto grata oppure loro stessi si metterebbero in contatto con me! Sperando in un risultato positivo, cordiali saluti, melbourne, victoria australia

from AnnMarie Cicero

Wed, Apr 15, 2009
To All my cousins in L'Aquila, Gino, Flora, Franco, Lina, Orlando, Ulina, Mario and their families. I want you to know that we are all Praying for you and L'Aqulia Bella. All of L'Aquila is in my prayers may God protect you all. We will send what ever you need.
Wappingers Falls, New York USA

from Higinio Hernández

Sun, Apr 12, 2009
I write from Mexico and by this way I express my condolences to the people that live in the abruzzo region because of the earthquake that happened in the zone where died many people.
Naranjos, Veracruz México

from thomas w. nawn

Sun, Apr 12, 2009
blessed nunzio pray for tom, michael, and all young people. Fredericksburg, virginia usa

from Roxane

Wed, Apr 8, 2009 at 3:05 AM
Hi, my name is Roxane. My grand-father's name is Elio Chiarelli. He was born in L'Aquila, Abruzzo, Italy and moved in Montreal in the year 1924. His father's name was Antonio Chiarelli, Mother's name Maria Santarelli, sister's name Ida Chiarelli. I'm shocked and very sad about the earthquake... I was searching for the birth place of my grand-father because he past away last march, on the 9th, 2009 at the age of 88 years old. He was born in 1920 in Italy and came with his family to Montreal, Canada in 1924. He never went back to Italy, he spoke a little bit of Italian but not much. He was the greatest father, grand-father, great grand-father ever!!! I have his funeral urn with me and wanted to bring it in his birth place in Italy. I had been searching for this for a month now. And, at the news yesterday, about the earthquake, I sadly remembered...it was L'Aquila. My heart is with you all... xxx, Montreal, Quebec Canada

from Sharon Ciarla

Tue, Apr 7, 2009 at 12:37 AM
I can't begin to say how very saddened I'm to hear of the recent earthquake in L'Aquila. I wish there was a way to make all of this pain go away for my fellow Italians. Part of my family came from the Abruzzo region. If there was some way to tell these dear people that many Americans grieve with them. My deepest condolences are sent. Washington USA

from Katja Oittinen

Mon, Apr 6, 2009 at 7:20 PM
Coraggio L'Aquila e tutti là! Sono stata in L'Aquila piu di dieci anni fa come una studentessa con Erasmus, e sono molto triste ad vedere il catastrofe che il terremoto ha fatto. L'Aquila, sei in miei pensieri! Spero che Giovanni, Giancarlo, Emanuele, e tutti, e Piazza del Duomo e tutte le poste siete benissimo! Kajaani, Kainuu Finlandia

from Wendy Reardon

Mon, Apr 6, 2009 at 6:22 PM
My deepest sympathies and prayers go to the wonderful people of l'Aquila. I visited with my mom to take pictures for a book I wrote on the deaths of popes, and the people in the church were extremely helpful and kind. And it was one of the people from this website who was kind enough to send me great pictures of Celestine V, St. Peter of Morrone, for my book. Thank you and I pray for peace and strength through this tough time.
Quincy, Massachusetts USA

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