White roses, the hymn of joy and his family at the plenary session of Strasbourg to finally bid farewell to President David Sassoli (PD/S&D). White roses as the name of the Christian collective, Rosa Bianca, in which the Italian has participated for decades. An association inspired by the tradition of democratic Catholicism promoted by Paolo Giuntella and which brought together groups of young people from Catholic associations (ACI, FUCI, ACLI). White roses distributed in the European Parliament against indifference, because the name of the Italian collective is inspired by the memory of Weisse Rose. That is, of the ideas, the words, the political action of resistance, the courage to the point of sacrifice of the students who in the years 1942 to 1943 at the University of Munich chose to make their voices heard against the indifference and fear of the people. German to the Nazi dictatorship.
Since the end of the 1970s, the “we will not be silent” of the victims of Nazism and the cry “long live freedom” began to become slogans of a group of young Catholics committed to associationism (Catholic Action, Fuci, Agesci, Acli… .) such as David Sassoli, who met regularly to discuss political news, plan initiatives, exchange educational readings, build alternative lifestyles to the consumerism that grew in Italy in the early 1980s, leaving behind the political violence heralding the collapse of the Christian Democracy and led multiple attempts to combine Christian solidarity with socialist ideals, as well as the expansion of feminist movements.RELATED
Sassoli’s political culture drank from there. “Pain cannot be inflicted on pain,” said David Sassoli. “We are the hope when we do not close our eyes to those who need help, when we do not build walls on our borders, when we fight all forms of injustice”, declared the President of the European Parliament on December 23 last, three days before his final entry at the Aviano Referral Center (CRO).
This Monday he received the goodbye of his fellow MEPs in a plenary session in Strasbourg full of his white roses.
The leader of the Partito Democrático, the formation of Sassoli, Enrico Letta, has affirmed in the plenary session of the European Parliament: “The smile, his; the eyes, those of others; the word, that of those who have no voice. David has inspired us with its fight against authoritarian drifts. It has left us a great legacy. Europe is, above all, its people, its soul, its hearts. It has always been committed to a Europe that does not succumb to the temptation of standardization, working for a unity respectful of traditions and specificities”.
“It was not an accident, but the legacy of those who found the antidote to hate”, said Letta about the Europeanist vision of Sassoli, who was buried in Rome with the coffin wrapped in the European flag: “The EU is not just directives , institutions, acronyms, but people. Hugs, emotions, smiles and tears. People who cry at the farewell of one of their own”.
For the French president, Emmanuel Macron, rotating president of the EU Council, Sassoli was a man “of rare benevolence, convinced, charismatic, determined to reaffirm his attachment to the European project and to everything that unites us. I remember with emotion a clairvoyant man, a characteristic that everyone has remembered, with a vision as broad as that of the entire continent. He put many stones in the building of the European Union and prepared many others for its future. He has taken out a majority that has laid the foundations of a common debt [para los fondos europeos]”.
The president of the socialist group in the European Parliament, Iratxe García, pointed out a speech that closed emotionally: “Sassoli embodied the soul of Europe. We have not only lost a great president, but also a colleague, a friend and an exemplary politician. The politics as a service to the common good, as a collective effort to improve people’s lives”.
“Delors said that Europe lacked a soul. David was that soul”, said the leader of the Socialists in the European Parliament: “I am going to ask David one last favor, to give me a bit of that Christian faith that he I had and I didn’t. Addio David, addio amico. Rimarrai con noi [Adiós David, adiós amigo. Te quedarás con nosotros]”.
The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, who had to return home after her driver tested positive, was unable to attend the ceremony. But on Twitter he remembered Sassoli: “My heart cries for having had to give up the tribute to my great friend David Sassoli. I want to pay tribute to him once again with a white rose, a symbol of his lifelong political and moral commitment.”
Sassoli was also remembered by the President of the European Council, Charles Michel. “In my first meeting with him, I was struck by his relaxed, generous attitude, totally focused on others. And then this smiling face, a smile that was his trademark and that didn’t lie. You’re leaving, David, and a part of you remains in each of us. Your example inspires us. Thank you dear president, thank you dear David. Rest in peace”.
Manfred Weber, president of the EPP, referred to Sassoli as “a man who has always built bridges” and invited all MEPs to make “a more social and more united Europe. Let’s row together so that David’s legacy materializes”.