A World War II veteran celebrated a major milestone Thursday with the help of his son and city officials in Miami Beach, Florida.
Sidney Walton turned 102, and to make the day even more special, he visited the Starlite Hotel where his father lived until he was 87, according to Local 10.
Outside the building, Miami Beach police officers lined the street and saluted the veteran when he arrived on Ocean Drive.
“This is such a wonderful day not only to celebrate 102, but in front of the Starlite Hotel, where my father’s father lived,” said his son, Paul.
Walton is currently traveling to every state on his No Regrets Tour, aiming to meet all 50 governors and raise awareness about the sacrifices World War II veterans made and the fact that their numbers are dwindling.
So far, the tour has made it to 36 states, according to a press release.
“We have found that my father inspires tremendous appreciation among those he meets. He is a living piece of history, reminding us not to forget the price of our freedoms today,” Paul explained.
Walton noted that he “joined the Army to fight Hitler,” and left college in New York City at age 22 to enlist just nine months prior to Pearl Harbor.
“My father is a very humble person. He wants you to know that he simply represents everyone that served. Man, woman, Black, white, Jewish, Christian, it makes no difference,” his son commented, adding, “These were the brave, courageous soldiers who saved this great nation.”
Video footage captured the moment the veteran pulled up to his birthday celebration on Thursday:
“Dad, what a day! February 11th 2021, you made it to 102-years-old. Awesome Dad, congratulations!” Paul said from behind the camera.
Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber was also there to honor Walton’s accomplishment.