'An Unbelievable Gentleman': New York Community Celebrates WWII Veteran's 101st Birthday With Car Parade
One community in New York came together to make sure a World War II veteran's 101st birthday was a happy occasion even during the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.
With social restrictions in place, Alan Cameron from Pearl River couldn't receive the traditional happy birthday hugs or handshakes on Monday, The Journal News reports.
So instead, the local community came to him. Dozens of cars, trucks and even fire engines drove by his house, honking their horns with their drivers and passengers waving through the windows.
"He was amazed," his daughter Debbie David said. "I didn't expect this to be as large as it was and I didn't expect to see the fire engine, so I was surprised."
She said her father was delighted by the car parade and was grateful that so many people went out of their way to celebrate his birthday.
"He thought it was really amazing that they did this for him. He didn't expect anything like this. He said, 'I can't believe they're doing this for me,'" David added.
Cameron has a long history with his community, which began while he was waiting for orders to head overseas during World War II.
Before going to Europe, Cameron was stationed in Orangeburg, NY and met his bride-to-be Janet Bocket at a dance. After he was deployed, the couple kept in touch by writing letters and were married after the war ended. Janet passed away in 2009, but Cameron still lives on Bocket Road which is named after Janet's family.
During his time in the military, Cameron served in France, then investigated war crimes while he was stationed in Germany. He retired as a lieutenant colonel, then began a marketing career in New York City until he fully retired during the 1980s.
The 101-year-old has some health concerns but David says that her father gets exercise during "his walk up and down his driveway."
Michael Finer, who has been Cameron's neighbor for nearly 40 years said, "He's amazing. He is an unbelievable gentleman."
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April 17, 2020