The oldest known living U.S. veteran of World War II celebrated his 111th birthday in style thanks to the National WWII Museum.
New Orleans native Lawrence Brooks served in the predominantly African-American 91st Engineer Battalion, which was stationed in New Guinea and then the Philippines during World War II. He turned 111 on Sept. 12.
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Happy 111th Birthday to Mr. Lawrence Brooks of New Orleans, LA! While we weren't able to have our usual birthday party at the Museum this year, we were able to host a socially distanced celebration that he could view safely from his porch. In addition to flyovers, a cake, and a personal performance from the Victory Belles, we were able to deliver the nearly 10,000 birthday cards sent in from around the world. Thank you to everyone who sent a card or birthday wishes for helping us make this day special in a new way!
The National WWII Museum has hosted birthday celebrations for Brooks on its campus for the past five years and didn't want this year to be any different. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the museum decided to organize a socially-distant birthday celebration.
“It is such an honor to have the oldest living U.S. veteran of World War II living so close to our institution, and it was meaningful for us to continue to celebrate Lawrence Brooks and his incredible life in a safe manner this year,” Amber Mitchell, assistant director of public engagement at The National WWII Museum, said in a press release.
The veteran and his family celebrated from their porch as the museum's vocal trio, The Victory Belles, performed and the Aeroshell Aerobatic Team and The Big Easy Wing demonstrated military plane flyovers.
Brooks was also given cake and close to 10,000 birthday cards that were collected as part of a national card drive, according to the museum.