I was 7 years old, at school they called me a hero

On August 2, 42 years ago, the terrorist attack on the Bologna station: 85 victims and over 200 injured, including Yuri Zini, a 7-year-old child at the time, who was there with his father. “At school, my classmates called me heroes, but I was just lucky.”

Yuri Zini, survivor of the Bologna massacre

“Much has been done, but perhaps even more can be done”. He is convinced of that Yuri Zini, survivor of the Bologna station massacre2 August 1980: he was there with his father Gianni, technical manager of the railways, originally from a small town in the province of Bologna, from whom he had inherited a passion for locomotives and rails.

“Every Saturday we used to take a trip to the station,” says Yuri a Fanpage.iton the occasion of 42 year anniversary of one of the blackest chapters of republican history in Italy. A terrorist attack in a very complicated period throughout Italy, with 85 victims and over 200 people injured. The bomb exploded at 10.25, the same time indicated still today in the Bologna railway station, when that watch became not only the symbol of the massacre, but also an indelible mark on the skin of Yuri, who a few years ago decided to tattoo it on his left arm. “He reminds me of the 85 victims every day – he still says from his home in Osteria Vecchia, also in the province of Bologna – I felt compelled to do it”.

My dream was to drive a train – continues Yuri, a child of only 7 years old in 1980-. I was lucky enough to climb it many times myself with my father’s colleagues. But then, unfortunately, this thing was taken away from me because the fear I had did not allow me to ”.

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For a long time, like many other survivors of the same massacre, the desire to talk about it was very little. Until time comes to realize how important it is to keep the memory of an attack like this alive, even within schools. Just like a few years ago, Yuri started doing the same thing. “I understood that it is right to talk about it and that the young people know that they are our future after all,” he continues. Then he adds, “After it happened on August 2, I went back to school after about a month, and I was impressed by how my classmates told me I was a hero when I returned. But I was not a hero, just very lucky”.

However, Yuri remembers nothing of the moments of the explosion. The last moments in his memory are the arrival in Bologna with his father, the visit to some relatives, the few chats exchanged with a friend of his parent who was a traffic policeman, and then a deafening noise as they walked towards the west forecourt of the stationwhere they would take the train home.

“Everything I know was told to me by my father – he explains -. With the displacement of the air I was thrown five or six meters, and ends on a train that stopped at the first platform. My father told me about the commotion that ensued and an almost surreal silence. He came to me and took me to the clinic that used to be near the station: I needed stitches, I had injuries in my arms and legs, so we then went to the hospital. He only had cuts from a few shards of glass. The next day – Yuri still remembers – we were going on holiday: my father, however, wanted to go back to help, so he left me and my mother on the Riviera and went back to Bologna. After the attack, I was also followed by psychologists: they told me that as a child I had removed everything. But only the pictures, not what I have inside. For example – he continues – it can happen that a door slams because there is electricity, and I get scared, I freeze for a few seconds and don’t speak, because that day comes to mind. Or for a long time I struggled to get on the trains or at the station: I passed it when I was 15 or 16, when it was necessary to face this thing in order to move with friends.

For the attack on the Bologna station, Licio Gelli, the Venerable Master of the P2 Masonic Lodge, the secret agents Pietro Musumeci, Giuseppe Belmonte and Francesco Pazienza were convicted first Licio Gelli, and then with the final sentence. of 1995, also the terrorists Valerio Fioravanti and Francesca Mambro. Between 2007 and 2020, two other terrorists from the neo-fascist group Nuclei Armati Rivoluzionari joined the list, Luigi Ciavardini (then a minor) and Gilberto Cavallini, while last April he was sentenced at first instance to life imprisonment, in competition with the other perpetrators , including Paolo Bellini, in a new trial reopened in 2019. However, the names of the instigators of the massacre are still missing today. “Compared to others, such as the one in Piazza Fontana, it is already a lot to have reached this point -comments Yuri Zini-. The unfortunate thing is that when the intelligence services are involved, it is unfortunately always difficult to arrive at a definitive truth. In my opinion, there was a part of the state that knew it – he concludes – but now those people are unfortunately no longer there”.

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