Rededicate your love

November 06, 1997

Rededicate your love

Hagerstown couple helping others keep love alive


Staff Writer

Pier Angelo and Mary Beltrami have a happy marriage, and they aren't keeping it a secret.

They're helping married couples rededicate their love so they can reawaken their feelings for each other and build strong, happy families.

The Beltramis started their mission last year, after they attended a marriage rededication ceremony organized by a friend that included a cruise on the Potomac River.


The experience was romantic, positive and uplifting, the Beltramis said, holding hands as they spoke in the living room of their Hagerstown home.

The husband and wife were so impressed that they decided to have a ceremony of their own.

The Beltramis hosted a dinner and dance at Old South Mountain Inn in Boonsboro July 27, and the event also marked their 15th anniversary.

About 25 couples attended, including Buddy and Debbie Frew of Boonsboro, high school sweethearts who have been married for 16 years.

Buddy Frew said they weren't sure what to expect, but they came away with a new appreciation for each other. The Frews, both 38, have two daughters, ages 9 and 13.

No marriage is perfect, and people are too quick to abandon it, Debbie Frew said.

"At the first bad apple, they want to bail," she said.

On weekends, the Beltramis pack up their van and take their message of commitment to area flea markets and malls. They tote a helium tank to fill up balloons for children.

There is no charge for the rededication service, and they don't accept donations.

"We do it out of the desire to share our experience and our happiness," said Pier Angelo Beltrami, 47.

Sometimes one partner will be a little hesitant, said Mary Beltrami, 50.

"They'll say, `You want me to do this in the mall?' " she said.

The rededication process is a true celebration of marriage, said Bob Lambert, a Keedysville resident who has been married to Susie Clements for a year and a half.

"You're not weird if you're married and love each other and stay together," Lambert said.

Clements said they watched a rededication the Beltramis had at Fort Ritchie on July 4, and she was touched by the couples' commitment of love.

Clements, 52, and Lambert, 47, who both have been married before, rededicated their marriage in Washington, D.C., with some friends.

"When you're looking at each other and you're holding hands, it just changes everything," Clements said.

Couples make a pledge that includes being faithful to each other; raising their children to be ethical, moral and responsible citizens; and benefiting society by promoting harmony and peace.

The declaration allows couples to share a precious moment that seldom is found in their private lives, Pier Angelo Beltrami said.

"We transcend religious, racial and age barriers. What keeps us together is what we have in common: Our love for one another and our love for God," he said.

The Beltramis have four children who range in age from 8 to 14. Pier Angelo Beltrami, a cyclist who competed in the international Paralypic Games last year in Atlanta, is a graphic designer and president and co-founder of The Beltrami Agency in Bethesda, Md.

He designed the logo for Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, a group whose purpose is to strengthen the institution of the family and encourage families to serve society.

The Beltramis are members of Family Federation, which started doing marriage rededications on a grassroots level. The two have helped more than 250 couples rededicate their marriages.

Worldwide, about 14.5 million couples have rededicated their love, Pier Angelo Beltrami said. That includes about 350,000 couples in the United States, with about 45,000 of them in the Washington, D.C., area.

"No one realized how big this thing was," he said.

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