Unsung heroes celebrated in Montgomery County

February 11, 2008 3:08:13 PM PST
It's not just soldiers who make tough sacrifices, but their families as well. Now one lawmaker is hoping to ease that loneliness a bit. Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz invited spouses of Korean and World War II veterans to a special ceremony on Monday.

At retirement homes in Hatboro and Northeast Philadelphia, carnations were handed out to the ladies. It was a little sugar, in honor of all those bittersweet Valentine's days when their men were away in World War II and the Korean War.

In Hatboro, sisters Mary Martella and Angie Gasbarra were given special recognition. Sixty-three years ago today, their brother Frank, a gunner in the Army, died in Europe. Sister Mary Martella says, "He was always such a good brother. He would always do something for you."

Today's ceremony was especially touching for these women because at this point most of them are widows. Yet again, only having pictures and letters to remind them of their lost loves.

Mae Gardner has her husband George's World War Two mementos, and his ashes, in her room. As a teenager, for three years, she sent the Marine a letter and fresh-baked batch of cookies, every day. "It was hard. Just had to take one day at a time," said Mae.

Then four years ago, after 60 years of marriage, she said a final goodbye.

These ladies prove true love not only never dies, it never surrenders.