Soldiers from the U.S. Army return Meri Mion’s cake for her 90th birthday

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Gunshots erupted, rain poured, and thunder erupted as Meri Mion and her mother crouched in the attic of their farm in northern Italy. It was April 28, 1945, and the Germans withdrew when American soldiers penetrated the nearby by Vicenza, northwest of Venice.

Mion showed up from the hideout the following morning to find the strident sounds of war replaced with the sweet scent of cake. It was her 13th birthday and American soldiers paraded through her village of San Pietro in Gu and collected bread and wine from grateful locals.

Mion’s mother retrieved the steaming cake from the oven and placed it on the windowsill to cool. But when Mion planned to taste the dessert, it was gone. U.S. troops had already eaten it, the Army said in a statement.

On Thursday, as Mion was preparing to celebrate his 90th birthday, Italian soldiers based in Italy “returned” the birthday cake, according to Army officials.

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Hundreds of people gathered at the event in the Giardini Salvi, a garden in Vicenza with a duck pond and Palladian columns. It is “very close to where the 88th Infantry Division fought its way into the city on April 28, 1945,” the press release said.

“At least 19 U.S. soldiers were killed or wounded,” it adds.

Locals, soldiers, police and veterans from the United States and Italy watched Sgt. Peter Wallis and Colonel Matthew Gomlak, commander of the US Army Garrison Italy, presented the guest of honor with a large white cake adorned with a chocolate shell filled with fruit and mini meringue cakes.

“Buon 90 compleanno,” was the icing on the cake – “Happy 90th birthday.”

Wearing a navy blue floral dress and blazer, Mion received the cake with a warm smile and open arms. She thanked the soldiers for remembering her story and for having replaced the cake 77 years later.

She said she planned to take it home and share it with her family on Friday, her 90th birthday.

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

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