Milan seeks US apology for WWII bomb that killed children

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Flowers lie in front of a bronze ossuary monument entitled ‘Ecco La Guerra’, (Here is War) dedicated to the ‘Little Martyrs of Gorla’, in memory of a World War II bombing raid on Oct. 20 1944 is pictured in Milan, Italy, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019. Milan’s mayor Giuseppe Sala, following a Mass Sunday for the 75th anniversary of the raid, asked U.S. authorities to apologize for a World War II bombing raid that killed 184 elementary school children. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

MILAN (AP) — Milan’s mayor appealed Sunday to U.S. authorities to apologize for a World War II bombing raid that killed 184 elementary school children.

Mayor Giuseppe Sala made the request following a Mass marking the 75th anniversary of the Gorla massacre, named for the quarter in the city that was struck, the news agency ANSA reported.

“I think it’s necessary that the American government apologizes, knowing that we are here to forgive,” Sala said, adding that he would formalize the request with the U.S. consul in Milan this week.

The air raid on Oct. 20, 1944, targeted an industrial complex near the city, but a second wave of bombers went off course and released their bombs southeast of the target to lighten their loads as they returned to base.

One bomb struck the Francesco Crispi elementary school as children raced for shelter.

“It was a very serious error resulting, as history tells us, from an incredible superficiality and inexperience,” Sala said.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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