For several decades, Italian-born Domenico Forte worked hard in America with the hopes of bringing his family with him. It was a slow process punctuated by two world wars. Domenico survived the first war, but World War II found him in America while his family was trapped in some of the most ferocious fighting of the Italian campaign.
The Forte family eked out an existence on a farm just outside of Pico, a village in central Italy in the foothills of the Aurunci Mountains. The mountains’ towering presence, coupled with a nearby labyrinth of strong rivers, became the setting for some of the most brutal combat of WWII. With a population of about 3,000, Pico became the linchpin of the German defenses; its fleeting military importance quickly brought the scourge of battle upon its citizenry. The Forte family was caught in the middle.
Promises to Keep chronicles the war in Pico from two perspectives. It examines the military backdrop against which the taking of Pico occurred, and discusses the military celebrities in command at the time of the siege. But more than that, it shows how the brutal reality of war affected the population of Pico.