Lawrence Brooks has experienced much in his life as the oldest known living World War II veteran. This year, he celebrated his 112th birthday with much fanfare.
Brooks was born in Norwood, Louisiana, but has lived in New Orleans since 1929. After returning from his time in the military, which ended in 1945, he settled down and had five kids with his wife.
He now has 13 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren.
Given the times, the party has come to Brooks the past two years.
“Lawrence Brooks, a New Orleans native and the oldest known U.S. veteran of World War II celebrated his 112th birthday at his home yesterday,” the National WWII Museum posted on Monday.
“In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing recovery efforts in New Orleans following Hurricane Ida, The National WWII Museum arranged a small, birthday celebration with cake, a performance from the Museum’s vocal trio, The Victory Belles, and a Jeep parade courtesy of Kajun Outcast Jeep Club and Northshore Wrangler Association,” the post said.
“Entertainment included the Lawrence Brooks Birthday Band, a collection of local New Orleans musicians presented by the Bucktown All-Stars. The City of New Orleans also issued an official proclamation recognizing his milestone birthday.
“Born Sept. 12, 1909, Lawrence Brooks served the US Army in the predominantly African-American 91st Engineer Battalion, which was stationed in New Guinea and then the Philippines during World War II.”
The governor recognized the auspicious day and the veteran with his own Facebook post.
“Happy 112th birthday to Mr. Lawrence Brooks, America’s oldest living World War II veteran and a proud Louisianan,” Gov. John Bel Edwards posted on Sunday.
“Mr. Brooks, the entire state of Louisiana thanks you for your service and we all wish you a joyous birthday,” he said.
Many commented on the museum’s post to thank Brooks for his service and send their best wishes.
“The best birthday yet!” the Victory Belles commented. “We had a blast. We love you, Mr. Brooks!”
As far as advice goes, Brooks keeps it simple. He told WDSU-TV that he encourages others to “serve God and be nice to people.”