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US army replaces birthday cake stolen from Italian girl by WWII soldiers

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By AP  with Euronews
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The cake was presented to 90-year-old Meri Mion by soldiers from US Army Garrison Italy.
The cake was presented to 90-year-old Meri Mion by soldiers from US Army Garrison Italy.   -   Copyright  Laura Krieder, U.S. Army via AP

The United States Army has presented an elderly Italian woman with a birthday cake to replace one that their predecessors took during World War II. 

With a round of “Happy Birthday” in Italian and English, American military personnel joined 90-year-old Meri Mion ahead of her birthday celebrations on Friday.

Thursday's event marked the anniversary of the day the 88th Infantry Division fought its way into the Italian city of Vicenza in 1945.

According to the US Army, Mion spent that night with her mother hiding in the attic of their farm in the nearby village of San Pietro in Gù.

Retreating German soldiers had fired on the house, but when Mion awoke on the morning of her 13th birthday, she came across American soldiers.

In a statement, the US Army Garrison Italy said Mion’s mother had baked her a birthday cake and left it on the windowsill to cool. But it disappeared, apparently taken by hungry US soldiers.

On April 28, the City of Vicenza and U.S. Army Garrison Italy took a pause to remember the day when Americans arrived in...

Posted by U.S. Army Garrison Italy on Thursday, April 28, 2022

Meri Mion wiped away tears in surprise as she was presented with the cake 77 years later, during the ceremony northwest of Venice.

US military police Soldier Sgt. Peter Wallis said it "was a little awkward, but it makes me feel great to give her the cake".

“Tomorrow, we will eat that dessert, with all my family remembering this wonderful day that I will never forget,” Mion said, according to the US Army.