Lawrence Brooks, a member of America’s “Greatest Generation,” celebrated a milestone birthday on Saturday turning 111 years old. Brooks lives in New Orleans and the National World War II Museum there ensured that his birthday was a memorable one. 

Although his old age and the coronavirus dictated a mostly social-distanced party, he was still given a celebration to remember. 

The museum has hosted Brooks’s birthdays for the past several years. The museum put together a birthday card drive in an attempt to get between 500 and 1,000 birthday cards for Brooks. They received over 10,000. 

“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, the museum’s Assistant Director of Public Engagement, said in a released statement.

“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,” she added. Of the over 16 million who served in WWII, there are still a little more than 389,000 veterans left; and of those, we lose nearly 300 a day. 

While Brooks watched from his front porch, the museum’s vocal trio “The Victory Belles,” who sing the sounds of the Big Band era 1940s, akin to the famous Andrews Sisters of that timeframe, sang “Happy Birthday” to him from outside his gate. As they serenaded him with “The Bugle Boy from Company C,” Brooks danced on his porch.

He was also treated to a flyover from the Aeroshell Aerobatic Team and the Big Easy Wing.