Acts of Kindness
Community puts on special car parade for veteran’s 100th birthday
The WWII veteran's family couldn't be there to help celebrate his 100th birthday. So, they came up with another plan.
Mary Rose Garra
10.15.21

We are fortunate to have had a golden birthday year.

What if we made it to one hundred? That’s a huge blessing!

Unsplash - Nick Fewings
Source:
Unsplash - Nick Fewings

You might not be aware of this.

According to World Atlas, the United States has the highest absolute number of centenarians in the world, with 97,000 living in the country. Japan ranks second, with 79,000 Japanese people aged 100 or older.

The World Economic Forum mentioned that “Life expectancies in developed and developing countries are increasing, with the UN predicting the number of centenarians worldwide will rise to 573,000 this year.”

That’s a great figure!

Unsplash - Matthew Bennett
Source:
Unsplash - Matthew Bennett

Let’s pretend you got to 100.

Then someone asked you, “How are you going to celebrate it?”

In this heartwarming story, a community gathered for a parade to honor a veteran on his 100th birthday.

The goal of the family and friends was a success!

Regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic, the people made the veteran William Cheeseman’s 100th birthday a memorable one. The veteran is also known by the name “Bill.” He thought he’d be spending his special day alone – but boy was he wrong.

YouTube Screenshot - FOX 13 Tampa Bay
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - FOX 13 Tampa Bay

Motorcycles rumbled and vehicles honked their horns outside Bill Cheesman’s home in Manatee County.

Cheesman is a World War II veteran who served with the United States Coast Guard in the Pacific.

He was honored by Admiral Chester W. Nimitz.

YouTube Screenshot - FOX 13 Tampa Bay
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - FOX 13 Tampa Bay

He joined the Navy at the young age of 16.

Bob Morrison from Denis V. Cooper Foundation and Wishes for Heroes told FOX 13 Tampa Bay that,

“It was very important to show our appreciation for him and what he’s done for our country and also just make him feel welcome and a big thanks for what he’s done.”

YouTube Screenshot - FOX 13 Tampa Bay
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - FOX 13 Tampa Bay

Bill’s family wanted to attend his milestone event, but due to COVID-19, they were forced to cancel their journey.

However, the family arranged to invite the Patriot Guard Riders and other veteran organizations to have a surprise drive-by celebration.

Henry Hyde together with the Patriot Guard Riders mentioned that,

“Not everybody turns 100 years old and that’s special in itself, but this guy being a WWII vet, you need to honor him.”

YouTube Screenshot - FOX 13 Tampa Bay
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - FOX 13 Tampa Bay

The family still got to witness the occasion via Facetime.

His thankfulness was painted on his wide smile.

He waved to everyone and thanked them for remembering his special day.

YouTube Screenshot - FOX 13 Tampa Bay
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - FOX 13 Tampa Bay

They had even more to offer the veteran.

The Coast Guard sent a representative to Bill’s birthday party. They presented him with a certificate commemorating his 100th birthday.

What was Bill’s reaction? He said, “I don’t feel any different, honestly.”

According to FOX 13, Bill is already looking forward to the next year’s celebration.

“Happy Birthday, buddy! We’ll see you on your 101st birthday,” Henry greeted with a smile.

YouTube Screenshot - FOX 13 Tampa Bay
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - FOX 13 Tampa Bay

On another note, Applewood Our House shared some tips on how to make it to your 100th Birthday.

It’s about the “genes, take good care of your health, move your body, proper medical attention, have faith in God, and be nice to others.”

They ended by sharing Helen’s insight into the life of a centurion.

“One thing is certain if you take good care of your mind and body there is a good chance that you might make it, too.”

Watch the video below to see Bill’s bright smile during his celebration!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family!

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By Mary Rose Garra
hi@sbly.com
Mary Rose Garra is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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