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    Soldiers from U.S. Army Garrison Italy return a birthday cake after 77 years

    Soldiers from U.S. Army Garrison Italy return a birthday cake after 77 years

    Photo By Laura Kreider | VICENZA, Italy - Sgt. Peter Wallis, of Seabeck, Washington, who recently won...... read more read more



    Story by Rick Scavetta 

    U.S. Army Garrison Italy

    VICENZA, Italy - Soldiers from U.S. Army Garrison Italy returned a birthday cake to Meri Mion April 28, 2022 – 77 years after American troops fighting near Vicenza ate the cake made for her thirteenth birthday.

    Mion, 89, of Vicenza, was the guest of honor at the midday event, held together with Vicenza officials at Giardini Salvi, very close to where the 88th Infantry Division fought its way into the city on April 28, 1945.

    Sgt. Peter Wallis, of Seabeck, Washington, who recently won Installation Management Command – Europe Best Warrior contest, presented the cake to Mion, with Col. Matthew Gomlak, commander of U.S. Army Garrison Italy. Hundreds of people, to include Italian soldiers, carabinieri, U.S. veterans, Italian veterans, plus many local residents watched on. The sun was shining in Giardini Salvi during the brief ceremony, where Gomlak spoke of the combat that occurred on nearby Corso SS. Felice e Fortunato.

    It was raining and thunder the morning when 88th Infantry Division Soldiers battled German defenders. At least 19 U.S. Soldiers were killed or wounded. Other Americans, from the 91st Infantry Division, drove north from the Riviera Berica into the city. Later, they paraded through Corso Palladio, Vicenza’s famous thoroughfare, where Italians offered them bread and wine. Mion, 89, of Vicenza, was a 13-year-old when Americans came to her nearby village, San Pietro in Gù.

    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. Mion thanked the Americans for remembering her and replacing her cake all these years later. She turns 90 on April 29. This year, she will take the cake home to share with loved ones, she said.

    “Tomorrow, I will eat that dessert with all my family remembering this wonderful day that I will never forget” Mion said.



    Date Taken: 04.28.2022
    Date Posted: 04.28.2022 12:47
    Story ID: 419533
    Location: IT

    Web Views: 1,564
    Downloads: 2