- During WWII, American soldiers stole a cake from one of the homes in San Pietro village, near Vicenza, Italy.
- The cake belonged to Meri Mion, who was then celebrating her 13th birthday.
- After more than seven decades, the US Army Garrison Italy replaced Meri’s cake.
Meri Mion spent the night of April 28, 1945, in the attic of her house in the village of San Pietro, near Vicenza, Italy, as American soldiers fought the German army. Meri’s mother decided to bake her a birthday cake the next morning, on her 13th birthday, to cheer everyone up. Meri was never given the opportunity to enjoy her cake. Instead, marching hungry American soldiers from the 88th Infantry Division spotted the cake cooling on a windowsill and took it.
In the battle to free the city, nineteen American soldiers were killed or wounded, but they eventually won. The soldiers paraded through town that night, and the Italians showed their thanks by offering them bread and wine.
One of the troops must have recalled stealing that cake! Soldiers from the US Army Garrison Italy finally returned Meri’s long-lost birthday cake two days before her 90th birthday.
For a make-up birthday party, Vincenza officials, personnel of the US Army, and local friends and relatives met in Giardini Salvi in Vicenza. They sang “Happy Birthday” to Meri in both Italian and English, and replaced the cake she should have gotten all those years ago with a scrumptious cake.
Meri cried as the soldiers sang to her, and she expressed her desire to share the cake with her family.
“We will eat that dessert with all my family, remembering this wonderful day that I will never forget,” she revealed.
Sgt. Peter Wallis admits that handing up the new cake was “a little awkward,” but it’s never too late to do the right thing.
“It makes me feel great,” Sgt. Wallis shared.
What a lovely memorial, and a timely reminder that World War II wasn’t as long ago as it feels. We’re so delighted our gallant men won that day — and remembered to return what they seized!
Source: Inspire More