AURORA, Colo. - A World War II veteran was in tears after receiving a long-lost love letter he wrote to his future-wife when he was at war in Europe 70 years ago.
A Westminster woman recently discovered the letter, dated 1945, tucked inside an old record she bought at a thrift store. The writer could have been anywhere in the world, but it turns out, he wasn't far away at all.
"I was really surprised," said 90-year-old veteran Bill Moore from his assisted care facility in Aurora. "I had no way of knowing it would show up in the way it did, and it would actually reach me."
He cried as he read the words he wrote so long ago to the woman, Bernadean Gibson, who became his wife of 63 years.
"My darling, lovable, alluring, Bernadean," the letter begins. "I ran out of space, but I could have written a lot more adjectives describing you. You are so lovely, darling, that I often wonder how it is possible that you are mine. I'm really the luckiest guy in the world, you know. And you are the reason, Bernadean. Even your name sounds lovely to me."
Moore told 7NEWS reporter Lindsay Watts how writing letters connected him to his sweetheart when he was half a world away fighting in Patton's Third Army.
"When you're apart for that reason," Moore said, "not knowing if and when you'd ever see that person again, every chance you got to communicate was just wonderful."
Moore is once again longing for the love of his life. Bernadean died in 2010.
"It's difficult talking out loud about it to other people," Moore said. "But I loved her, and she loved me. That's all I can tell you. It’s a heartache not being with her all the time."
The couple had three children. Their daughter, Melinda Gale, said her mother saved all of the letters Moore wrote from the war, but somehow, they got lost. The family has copies of some letters, but the one mysteriously stashed in the record sleeve is the only original.
"I read it for my daughter last night," Gale said. "It really hit me that we were seeing the true depth of my parents love that, as children, we knew was there, but you don’t hear it. Their love sets such a beautiful example of what life can be."