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Opera's Most Enchanting Moments

On Saturday, November 19, 2011, Finmeccanica hosted its third annual concert in honor of injured wounded warriors at the Embassy of Italy. Over 100 wounded servicemen and women, family members, staff, and caregivers from Walter Reed National Medical Center, Fort Meade, and Fort Belvoir attended the performance titled "Opera's Most Enchanting Moments." The New York Opera Society Chamber Orchestra, under the direction of Emmanuel Plasson, presented a musical performance of famous opera pieces that included selections from Carmen, La Bohème, and the Magic Flute.

Nearly 500 people, including officials from the U.S. Departments of Defense, State, Veterans Affairs, and Treasury as well congressional staffers, diplomats, and other members of the Washington community gathered to pay tribute to the wounded warriors and their loved ones in attendance.

Minister Gian Lorenzo Cornado, Chargè d’Affaires for the Embassy of Italy in Washington, D.C., commended the wounded warriors for their commitment, dedication, and service to the country.

“There is no cause more noble than the one you have chosen,” said Cornado. “You have chosen a selfless path that has protected freedom and given others the opportunity for a better life. We are grateful for all you have done, and honored to pay respect to you and all the American and Italian soldiers who have fought for the ideals that both our countries hold so dearly.”

General Peter Pace, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also addressed wounded warriors and their families: “Most importantly, for all of us in this room, we are here specifically because of the wounded warriors. This night is about saying thank you to you…There is no way we can fully understand the pain you have suffered or your families have suffered. But somehow in this time tonight, by being with you, we can tell you we care, and how much we appreciate your sacrifice. Millions and millions of Americans and Italians appreciate, value, and respect what you are doing.”

Finmeccanica North America’s Chief Executive Officer Simone Bemporad presented a charitable donation to the Aleethia Foundation as appreciation of Aleethia’s efforts in working “tirelessly everyday to help our injured warriors and their families…” Bemporad said “We are proud of their ongoing commitment and dedication to assisting and raising awareness of these individuals’ tremendous courage and sacrifice.”

Left: Hal Koster, Founder and President of The Aleethia Foundation accepts a charitable contribution from Finmeccanica Chief Executive Officer Simone Bemporad during the Third Annual Tribute Concert in Honor of Wounded Warriors. From Left to Right: Simone Bemporad, Hal Koster, Minister Cornado, General Peter Pace.