On April 29, 1945, a group of U.S. soldiers was in Vicenza, Italy, after a battle with German forces, when they spotted a cake cooling in the window of a home.
The 88th Infantry Division spotted the cake and apparently could not resist the temptation, making off with the sweet treat.
What they didn’t know was that a mother had lovingly prepared the dessert for her 13-year-old daughter’s birthday.
Meri Mion, the daughter, and her family were taking refuge in their attic at the time, and the cake that would have been a reprieve from wartime considerations disappeared without a trace.
But the act was not forgotten, and 77 years later, the U.S. Army Garrison Italy decided to make things right, presenting the now-90-year-old with a replacement cake.
The cake was presented to Mion during an event called “One Community: Remembering April 28, 1945” in Vicenza, held to celebrate the friendship that grew between the U.S. and Italy.
The U.S. Army Garrison Italy shared photos from the event and of the birthday girl and her atonement cake.
“A special guest at the event, Ms. Meri Mion, 89, of Vicenza, was a 13-year-old when Americans came to her village, San Pietro in Gù,” the post reads.
“She spent the night hiding with her mother in the attic of their farm along the main road of town. Retreating Germans fired shots near her house, memories that haunted her for years afterward.
“She awoke the next morning, Americans were nearby. Her mother prepared a birthday cake for her. Fresh from the oven, the cake went to the window sill.
“Later, it was gone. The Americans had helped themselves. Today, U.S. Army Sgt. Peter Wallis, of Seabeck, Washington, who recently won the Best Warrior contest in Europe presented a cake to Ms. Mion.”
The cake was presented by Wallis, a Military Police soldier, and the crowd sang happy birthday in both Italian and English.
Wallis was happy to be a part of the celebration, but admitted that the circumstances were a “little awkward.”
“It was a little awkward, but it makes me feel great to give her the cake,” Wallis said in a statement, according to Fox News.
The gesture was certainly appreciated by Mion, who was a bit teary and said she “will never forget” the celebration. She also said she planned to share the cake with her family the next day, on her actual birthday.
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