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  • September 15, 2020

She returned the L-word immediately.

“When Lina came into my life, I was running around about 100 miles per hour, like a madman, always dealing with work or education-related issues,” Mr. Silvestri said. “But she centered my spirit, allowing me to calm down and refocus, and to realize that nothing is more important than family.”

Ms. Mano credited Mr. Silvestri “with kind of pushing me to be a more open and strong person.”

“I’m sort of shy,” she said, “but Andrew pushes me out of my comfort zone sometimes and allows me to have a voice.”

Two years later, in January 2019, the couple returned to the Lincoln Memorial, and this time, Mr. Silvestri dropped to one knee, and asked Ms. Mano Question No. 19 on his 20-question list: “Will you marry me?”

Then, in August 2019, Mr. Silvestri, the youngest of three children, was dealt a crushing blow when his mother died from complications of pancreatic cancer.

“Our getting engaged was a moment for us to really celebrate life and take advantage of family, then suddenly, my mom was not there to help us celebrate,” said Mr. Silvestri, beginning to cry. “It was just devastating.”

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