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Program Details 2018*


Pro Patria: An American Who Fought for Italy in WWI


“Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori.” With these words Horace exhorted the Romans to fight against the Parthians. Wilfred Owen, in describing the horrors of the Great War, denounced Horace’s declaration as “the old Lie.” Bernardino Bernardini became a naturalized US citizen in 1908. In 1914, Bernardino decided to join the Italian Army. His parents reluctantly signed enlistment papers.

Bernardino left a memoir built from journal entries made during his World War I service. The memoir, My Military Life, was completed following his return. Pro Patria is the novel based on this diary/memoir.

Presenter’s Name

Marcella Bernard

Presenter’s Website

Presenter’s Bio

Marcella Bernard worked as an advertising copywriter, commercial producer, and radio marketing specialist. She became tenured faculty and associate chair of the Radio Department at Columbia College Chicago. Bernard received her MA in creative writing from Northwestern University’s School of Professional Studies. She is a stage/voiceover actor who belongs to the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, Chicago Writers Association, and Chicago Women in Publishing.

*Note: This program was offered last year and may or may not be offered again this year.


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