For the past five years, the National World WWII Museum has helped Lawrence Brooks celebrate his birthday, and they kept the tradition alive for 2020.
Born on Sept. 12, 1909, Brooks turned 111 years old on Saturday. The New Orleans resident is the oldest known living U.S. veteran of World War II, serving in the predominantly Black 91st Engineer Battalion, which was stationed in New Guinea and later the Philippines.
The great-grandfather's birthday celebrations are usually at the museum, but because of the pandemic, a party with social distancing was held in his front yard. As Brooks and his family watched from the porch, the museum's vocal trio, the Victory Belles, sang several songs, and the Aeroshell Aerobatic Team and The Big Easy Wing did a military flyover.
Brooks also received a cake and 10,000 birthday cards that had been sent to the museum. Amber Mitchell, assistant director of public engagement at the National WWII Museum, said in a statement that it was "meaningful for us to continue to celebrate Lawrence Brooks and his incredible life in a safe manner this year."
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