By Dave Crawley

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — She’s a French baroness. He was an American coal miner.

Bill Winowich, of Shaler Township, was an Army medic stationed in France in World War II when he met the translator who would become his wife.

They shared their experiences with eighth grade French students at Shaler Area Middle School.

There were some smiles, but time could not erase the carnage of a war fought on the beaches and the battlefields of France. It was there that that he lost comrades in arms, gone too soon.

The veteran has made frequent visits to Normandy Cemetery, honored by the little town nearby, which he helped to liberate.

“Freedom isn’t free. Somebody has to die for it,” says Winowich. “Look at the cemeteries, pictures I got.”

Those men who died weren’t much older than the students the couple met with at the middle school.

“So, for them to hear what the two of them went through back in the 1940s, and how much they had to mature quickly, grow up; I think was very good for the students to hear,” said Eloise Groegler, the principal of the middle school.

And also to hear how romance could bloom in the ashes of war – a baroness, a miner and a love that never died.

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