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Oldest US veteran of WWII celebrates his 112th birthday

The veteran told local NBC affiliate WDSU his advice to others is "serve God and be nice to people."
Brooks waves at friends and family who came by to wish him a happy birthday.
Brooks waves at friends and family who came by to wish him a happy birthday.WDSU
/ Source: AP (Associated Press)

A Louisiana man who is the oldest living World War II veteran in the United States has marked his 112th birthday.

Lawrence Brooks celebrated Sunday with a drive-by party at his New Orleans home hosted by the National World War II Museum, The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate reported. He also received greetings from Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, who tweeted, “Mr. Brooks, the entire state of Louisiana thanks you for your service and we all wish you a joyous birthday.”

Brooks waves at friends and family who came by to wish him a happy birthday.WDSU

The museum has previously hosted parties for Brooks, although the coronavirus pandemic has caused those events to shift to drive-by celebrations for the past two years.

This year’s festivities included a Jeep parade, a live performance from the museum vocal trio and entertainment from New Orleans musicians. The city also recognized Brooks’ birthday with an official proclamation.

Friends and family dance in the street in celebration of Lawrence Brooks' 112th birthday.WDSU

Born in Norwood, Louisiana, in 1909, Brooks has lived in New Orleans since 1929. Drafted in 1940, he was a private in the Army’s mostly Black 91st Engineer Battalion, a unit that was stationed in New Guinea and the Philippines and built infrastructure such as bridges, roads and airstrips.