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Send a birthday card to the oldest living WWII veteran in the US as he turns 111

Send a birthday card to the oldest living WWII veteran in the US as he turns 111
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WEBVTT [APPLAUSE] >> GOING STRONG AT 109 -- LAWRENCE BROOKS ROLLED INTO THE NATIONAL WORLD WAR II MUSEUM CELEBRATING HIS BIRTHDAY. >> HAPPY BRITHDAY FROM THE VICTORY BELLES, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU. >> A SONG AND A CELEBRATION, WELL EARNED BY A MAN WHO JOINED THE ARMY AT AGE 32 AT THE OUTS OF THE WAR, AT A TIME WHEN THE MILITARY WAS SEGREGATED -- AFRICAN AMERICANS WERE TREATED FAR DIFFERENTLY THAN TODAY. >> MR. BROOKS, YOU ARE AN AMERICAN HERO -- THANK YOU FOR PAVING THE WAY AND THERE’S NO DOUBT THAT YOU ARE ALSO AN ICON IN AFRICAN-AMERICAN AS WELL, SIR. >> A CROWD OF FAMILY, FRIENDS AND WELL WISHERS CROWDED THE LOUISIANA PAVILION TO BE A PART OF THE CELEBRATION. OTHER VETERANS TOOK THE OPPORTUNITY TO SHARE A MOMENT, REFLECTING ON A TIME LONG PAST BUT A GROUP OF VETERANS QUICKLY DWINDLING IN NUMBER. BUT BROOKS HAS A GOOD HANDLE ON IT ALL -- MAKE EVERY DAY A GOOD DAY. >> YOU DON’T WANT NO BAD FEELINGS. THEM AWAY -- PUT THEM AWAY. >> THE CELEBRATION -- NOW AN ANNUAL EVENT AT THE MUSEUM, NEXT THEY PROMISE A DOUBLE DECKER CAKE, BUT BROOKS LOOKS FORWARD TO THE VICTORY BELLES. >> I THINK THAT HANDKERCHIEF REALLY LOOKS GOOD. [LAUGHTER] >> AND BY THE WAY -- THANK YOU FOR YO
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Send a birthday card to the oldest living WWII veteran in the US as he turns 111
Video above from 2018: World War II veteran's secret to a long life is to make every day a good dayThe oldest living American to serve in World War II is turning 111 years old, and you can be a part of the celebration.Lawrence Brooks served as a support worker in the predominantly Black American 91st Engineer Battalion stationed in New Guinea and then the Philippines and reached the rank of private first class during the war.On Sept. 12, he celebrates his 111th birthday.The National World War II Museum in New Orleans has thrown parties for the past five years to honor Brooks.Last year, family, veterans, and current military service members celebrated the veteran's new milestone at the museum, with cupcakes and a musical performance by the museum's vocal trio, the Victory Belles.But this year, due to the pandemic, the celebration will look a little different.The museum is asking Americans around the country to send birthday cards."We just thought there has to be some way that we can still celebrate him in a way that is safe but also gets more people involved," said Amber Mitchell, Assistant Director of Public Engagement at the National World War II Museum."If we aren't able to gather in ways that we're used to, we can always invent new ways to connect or rediscover old ways, like you would with a birthday card," Mitchell told CNN.Mitchell said it's important to celebrate the stories of real heroes like Brooks while they're with us."I mean, who doesn't want to write a card to a person who's 111 years old?" Mitchel asked.Several hundred cards, gifts and flowers have been sent already. Mitchell expects between 500 and 1,000 cards.On the big day, a small group of museum staff will deliver the cards to Brook at his home for a private celebration. Staff plans to wear face masks and practice social distancing. The Victory Belles will still serenade him.To join the celebration, send a card to:The National WWII Museumc/o Happy 111th Mr. Brooks!945 Magazine StreetNew Orleans, LA 70130

Video above from 2018: World War II veteran's secret to a long life is to make every day a good day

The oldest living American to serve in World War II is turning 111 years old, and you can be a part of the celebration.

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Lawrence Brooks served as a support worker in the predominantly Black American 91st Engineer Battalion stationed in New Guinea and then the Philippines and reached the rank of private first class during the war.

On Sept. 12, he celebrates his 111th birthday.

The National World War II Museum in New Orleans has thrown parties for the past five years to honor Brooks.

Last year, family, veterans, and current military service members celebrated the veteran's new milestone at the museum, with cupcakes and a musical performance by the museum's vocal trio, the Victory Belles.

But this year, due to the pandemic, the celebration will look a little different.

The museum is asking Americans around the country to send birthday cards.

"We just thought there has to be some way that we can still celebrate him in a way that is safe but also gets more people involved," said Amber Mitchell, Assistant Director of Public Engagement at the National World War II Museum.

"If we aren't able to gather in ways that we're used to, we can always invent new ways to connect or rediscover old ways, like you would with a birthday card," Mitchell told CNN.

World War II veteran Lawrence Brooks holds a photo of him from 1943 as he celebrates his 110th birthday at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans on Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019.
Chris Granger/The National World War II Museum
World War II veteran Lawrence Brooks holds a photo of him from 1943 as he celebrates his 110th birthday at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans on Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019.

Mitchell said it's important to celebrate the stories of real heroes like Brooks while they're with us.

"I mean, who doesn't want to write a card to a person who's 111 years old?" Mitchel asked.

Several hundred cards, gifts and flowers have been sent already. Mitchell expects between 500 and 1,000 cards.

On the big day, a small group of museum staff will deliver the cards to Brook at his home for a private celebration. Staff plans to wear face masks and practice social distancing. The Victory Belles will still serenade him.

To join the celebration, send a card to:

The National WWII Museum

c/o Happy 111th Mr. Brooks!

945 Magazine Street

New Orleans, LA 70130