Smile of Joy

A lot can happen in 77 years. It’s a lifetime of years, but Martin Adler couldn’t leave behind a black and white photo of himself as a 20-year-old American soldier in Italy in 1944. In the photo he is surrounded by three Italian children he is credited with saving as the Nazis retreated late in the war.  It was Adler’s inaction that saved the three girls.  He entered their home and was about to open fire when he heard rustling and suspected Nazi soldiers only for the children’s mom to come up to Adler to let him know that only the little girls were in the house.  His company stayed in the village for a while, and he would drop by on occasion to check in on the girls, play with them and bring them chocolate bars.  For the first time since the war, Adler recently reunited with the children he saved all those years ago in Italy. First on a video call and more recently in person.  His joyous smile upon reuniting with these three siblings 77 years later is priceless.

Smile of Joy

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