The oldest known WWII veteran, Lawrence Brooks, was honored at his home with a Jeep parade, cake, and performances from the lovely Victory Belles vocal trio, as well as local New Orleans musicians earlier this week.
Sitting on his porch outside, the New Orleans native celebrated his 112th birthday with well-wishers on Sept. 12—amidst recovery efforts in the wake of Hurricane Ida.
For the bash, organized by the the National WWII Museum, Brooks was treated to cake, a glamorous performance by the museum’s Victory Belles vocal trio, and a Jeep parade, courtesy of Kajun Outcast Jeep Club and Northshore Wrangler Association.
Offering words of wisdom, Brooks advised others to “serve God and be nice to people,” NBC reported.
Also playing was the Lawrence Brooks Birthday Band, an assembly of local New Orleans musicians, presented by the Bucktown All-Stars.
Marking the occasion, the City of New Orleans issued an official proclamation recognizing Brooks’s milestone 112th birthday—which makes him the oldest known veteran of the Second World War.
Among his well-wishers was Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, who appeared in a photo with the vet, which he posted on Twitter, along with a message:
“Happy 112th birthday to Mr. Lawrence Brooks, America’s oldest living World War II veteran and a proud Louisianan. Mr. Brooks, the entire state of Louisiana thanks you for your service and we all wish you a joyous birthday. #lagov”
Born Sept. 12, 1909, Brooks served in the Army from 1940 to 1945 in the predominantly black 91st Engineer Battalion, stationed in New Guinea and then the Philippines, the museum stated.
After the war, Brooks returned home to New Orleans and worked as a forklift operator and married Leona B. Brooks, who died in 2005 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. He had five children and now has 13 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren.
“Last year, Mr. Brooks received more than 21,000 cards from all over the U.S. and abroad wishing him a happy 111th birthday,” stated the museum.
“Mr. Brooks’ birthday is a significant reminder of those who have served and continue to dedicate their lives to our freedom.” they added. “The National WWII Museum’s ongoing educational mission is to tell the story of the American experience in the war that changed the world so that all generations will understand the price of freedom and be inspired by what they learn.”