A birthday cake always makes for a sweet treat, even when it’s a bit belated. But Meri Mion had to wait a lot longer than most kids to get her 13th birthday cake — 77 years to be exact.
On Thursday, the U.S. Army Garrison in Italy marked the woman’s 90th birthday by serving up justice in the form of a meringue and fruit festooned cake, after soldiers helped themselves to a cake her mother made for her back in 1945.
As explained on the U.S. Army’s website, during World War II, hungry U.S. soldiers fighting near Vicenza, Italy, passed by Mion’s village of San Pietro in Gù.
Mion, who was 13 at the time, had spent the previous evening hiding in her family’s attic as retreating German soldiers fired shots near her home.
When she woke up after that frightening night, she expected a celebration. However, as the commander of U.S. Army Garrison Italy, Col. Matthew Gomlak said during the special ceremony for Mion held at Giardini Salvi on Thursday, “Her happiness turned into disappointment later, when the resourceful American soldiers made off with her birthday cake.”
But any hard feelings appeared to have been forgiven when she was presented with a stunning cake on the eve of her 90th birthday. It was a gesture that brought tears to her eyes.
“Tomorrow, we will eat that dessert with all my family remembering this wonderful day that I will never forget,” Mion said.