Naples, 3 May 2019.
It's a beautiful sunny day and it's 17pm.
The warm orange light typical of the first spring days illuminates and warms the streets and squares of the city of Naples.
One of the largest squares in Naples is Piazza Nazionale.
It is a square built towards the end of the 1800s as part of the city rehabilitation works, it is located 3 KM from the famous Piazza del Plebiscito and not far from the Central Station.
It is circular in shape and in the center there are small gardens with trees. Cars circulate outside the central hub of the square and there is usually a lot of traffic. Along the sidewalks that line the streets there are some shops, bars and many buildings.
Noemi she is a 4 year old girl and with her sister, her mother, her aunt and her grandparents she wants to grab something at the bar and enjoy the spring air.
Noemi holds her grandmother by the hand and walks towards the bar.
Noemi is happy, she looks amused at all the people crowding the square; some run, others walk, still others chat and laugh, some people have their heads and gaze fixed on their cell phones.
Near a tree there are older boys who are together, laugh, pat each other on the back, never letting go of their mobile phone on which they constantly wave their fingers to write something or to take pictures.
Noemi is happy to hold her grandmother by the hand, she is thrilled to be able to buy something good at the bar, to be outdoors and to be able to play with her little sister. She can't wait to be able to jump on the colorful games together with the other children who have arrived before her.
Suddenly, strange noises are heard in the square.
They are strong.
There are many and they do not end.
They are gunshots and scary.
Panic spreads among people.
A few seconds before, Armando arrived in the square. He is a man in black clothes and a helmet. He has a gun in his hand.
He approaches with a firm step to another boy named Salvatore.
She points the gun at him and shoots.
The bullet does not come out.
Salvatore is terrified and incredulous.
Take advantage of the lucky break and start running to escape.
Armando is furious.
He runs after Salvatore and pulls the trigger many times.
The gun works and several bullets go off.
Salvatore runs away, but Armando runs after him and shoots without stopping.
One of the first bullets reaches and hits Noemi who falls to the ground.
Armando continues to shoot and to be able to chase Salvatore he jumps smoothly over Noemi's body. Salvatore also falls to the ground.
Armando fulfilled his mission of death.
Go back, jump again the body of Noemi and with the bike runs away.
Noemi is on the ground. Mom and aunt pick her up.
They see that her face is very white and they take her to the bathroom of the bar to freshen her up and get her back on track.
As they approach her to the sink they realize that Noemi has a bloodstain.
They scream and ask for help.
The ambulance arrives.
On the way to the hospital, a nurse holds Noemi's hand tightly, and she laboriously opens her eyes. The nurse tries to manage her emotions, looks Noemi in the eyes and with all the sweetness she is capable of at that moment she says: "Noemi, stay with us, don't go away"
Noemi is hospitalized in Santobono where she finds a team of very good doctors and nurses. In a few minutes the doctors make very delicate decisions and Noemi works.
The surgery is technically fine and Naomi goes into a pharmacological coma.
The whole city of Naples is shaken.
People take to the streets to show solidarity with Noemi and her family. Several prayer vigils are organized in front of the hospital and in Piazza Nazionale. In all the churches of Naples we pray for Noemi. Many Neapolitans suffer in their hearts and pray for Noemi. The bishop of Naples and the Pope also speak.
People take to the streets to say enough to the Camorra.
Among the demonstrators, a 23-year-old boy stands out and shows extraordinary courage.
He is holding a sign that says "the Camorra is a mountain of shit".
He is Antonio Piccirillo and he is the son of a Boss of the Camorra, Rosario Piccirillo.
Interviewed by reporters says he loves parents, but does not share any life choices. He asks all the Camorra to change, because they make the life of the city and of their own children disgusting.
Shortly after the police arrest Armando and almost at the same time at the Santobono hospital Noemi miraculously reopens his eyes, looks at his mother and says “I want my dolls”. After this sentence there is an applause from all the medical staff.
When the news of Noemi's awakening is published, many Neapolitans thank, smile and continue to hope and pray that Noemi will soon return to life as before.
Love and fear: what do you choose?
Noemi's story gave me some questions and one in particular:
How is it possible that such a small girl should pay such a high price for the violence of other people?
There are two great forces in life that are opposites: the good and the bad.
- Why is there evil?
- Why doesn't good always win as it should be?
- Why does God (for believers) allow this?
I realized that I can answer these questions in two ways: with the fear or with the love.
I am convinced, in fact, that each of us has a great gift: the freedom to choose.
I can choose good, love, friendship, happiness, compassion or evil, fear, violence, abuse.
If I choose the fear in me they prevail negative emotions like sadness, mistrust, pessimism, resignation.
These emotions lead me to see the facts that happen and people always in a negative way: there will always be violence, the Camorra cannot be defeated, I have to escape from my city, God does not do his job well because he allows this, it is impossible. be happy…
If I choose the love in me they prevail positive emotions such as optimism, the strength to overcome problems, the ability to see the positive in facts and in people, hope, the desire to work for a better world.
If I choose love, I see that next to people who have chosen fear like the Camorra, there are many people who choose love:
- The hospital doctors who with their passion and skill saved Noemi's life.
- Lots of people from Naples who took to the streets against evil and to pray.
- The police who professionally managed to arrest the Killer in a short time.
- Noemi's parents who, despite the very difficult moment they are experiencing, issue declarations of love and hope for the city of Naples.
- The courage of the Camorrista's son who takes to the streets and manages to overcome fear.
- The love of God that supports men in their choice between love and fear.
Choosing love is not easy, it often requires commitment, work, but it is always POSSIBLE for each of us.
It's a choice da do every day and several times in the same day.
Only in this way, with the choice of each of us, fear and evil can be defeated.
And you, what do you choose?