ASCOLI PICENO, Italy
– Mourners in Italy prayed,
hugged, wept and even applauded as coffins carrying victims of the country’s
passed by at a state funeral Saturday, grieving as one
nation after three desperate days of trying to .
In the central town of Ascoli Piceno, they gathered to
bid farewell to 35 of the 291 people confirmed dead so far after the quake that
struck a swath of countryside early Wednesday at the foothills of the central
The caskets of 35 people had been brought to a community
gym – one of the few structures in the area still intact and large enough to
hold hundreds of mourners. The local bishop, Giovanni D’Ercole, celebrated Mass
beneath a crucifix he had retrieved from one of the damaged churches in the
picturesque area of .
Emotions that had…