NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) -Lawrence Brooks, a New Orleans native and the oldest known U.S. veteran of World War II, celebrated his 111th birthday at his home today in New Orleans.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, The National WWII Museum, which has hosted a birthday celebration for Mr. Brooks for the past five years, arranged a socially distant birthday celebration.
The museum’s vocal trio, The Victory Belles, performed a series of numbers including “Happy Birthday,” and Mr. Brooks enjoyed military plane flyovers courtesy of the Aeroshell Aerobatic Team and The Big Easy Wing.
The museum presented Mr. Brooks with a cake and collected nearly 10,000 birthday cards.
“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,” said Amber Mitchell, assistant director of public engagement at The National WWII Museum. “As we continue to lose members of The Greatest Generation, it is so important that we honor these men and women for their bravery and sacrifice while they are with us.”
Mr. Brooks was born Sept. 12, 1909. He served in the predominantly African-American 91st Engineer Battalion, which was stationed in New Guinea and then the Philippines during World War II. He was married to the late Leona B. Brooks and is the father of five children and five step-children.
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