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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I couldn't let go untold the 20th anniversary of the death of Giovanni Falcone, a just man, or just a man, who fought mafia and payed his obedience to his duty with his life; and with him, in a blast of fire ignited by 500 kilos of TNT, his wife Francesca Morvillo, and the men of his armed escort, Vito Schifani, Antonio Montinaro And Rocco Dicillo.

In this photo, Falcone is with his best friend, colleague and companion in his fight against mafia, Paolo Borsellino, who knew in the moment Falcone was killed that he was a dead man walking. Yet, he called for his confessor and then went on fulfilling his duty, till the next 19 July, when some 200 kilos of TNT were used to blast him and his escort away.

Falcon and Borsellino

Every Italian knows that it wasn't properly the mafia to kill this men; very dense evidences, we might even call them proofs, point to the fact that the two were killed as they found out the links between criminal organizations and major political parties, and through them, to the government-run most important institutions of our country. A set of common interests that was born soon after WW2, through the intense activity of both the Italian and American secret services. But here the trails get fuzzy and misty, and that's not the topic of my post.

This is also the tenth anniversary of the writing of the first line of the Falcon Programming Language. I was back from a hard day of underpaid work, while my pocket radio was playing the recordings of the police radio frequencies as the bomb blew 10 years before. I still remember the voice of the show host, on the brink of crying in the recall of the event, explaining that the code name for Falcone was "big personality", as it was a bit more than a tad overweight, and nice enough to accept jokes about this. And the recorded dialog was something like:

"They hit a big personality. I repeat, a big personality was hit."

And the policeman on the other side, his voice down to a broken whisper: "Received."

As I recalled his famous quotes, "I have no fear of dying. Who has no fear dies just once; who has fear dies thousands times every day", and especially "A man can die, but ideas don't", I took the decision to do something on my way back home from the train station. And so I sat all night long and had a first toy compiler running by the next morning.

I am going to have a sip of wine tonight to cheer at the 10th year of Falcon, at the 20th year of the death of a just man, and at the 20th year of an idea of justice and rightfulness being born.


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