Cars Line up to Celebrate his 101st Birthday With a Socially Distant Salute

Credit: Peter Carr/The Journal News
Credit: Peter Carr/The Journal News

In this age of viral pandemics and social distancing, it is beautiful to see that the community is still able to celebrate those occasions that are very special.

This happened in Pearl River, New York, when the entire community of Pearl River turned out to wish Alan Cameron a happy birthday, while still observing all the rules around social distancing.

On 12th April, Alan, a World War II veteran, turned 101. To help him celebrate this momentous occasion, the Pearl River Police organized a birthday celebration drive past on Monday, so the community could pass on their good wishes.

All his neighbors, as well as the Pearl River Fire Department, made an effort to come out and wish Alan for his birthday.

His daughter, Debbie David, said that the family was utterly amazed at the turnout and couldn’t understand where all the cars were coming from reports The Journal.

Alan Cameron served in France with the US military during World war II. After the war, he continued his work with the military by working in Germany, investigating war crimes.

He remained a member of the Army Reserves for many years and eventually retired with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

When he had completed his service with the military, he returned to New York, where he took up a position in marketing. He represented many brands, but sadly they no longer exist.

Cameron then went on to work in real estate and finally put the skills of court reporting that he had learned in the Army to good use, and he served municipalities. He finally retired from working in the early 1980s.

Credit: Peter Carr/The Journal News
Credit: Peter Carr/The Journal News

Michael Finer, who has been a neighbor to Alan Cameron for close to 40 years, was full of praise for Cameron as a gentleman and as a friend.

He said Alan rarely spoke of his wartime service, but he said that his friend was an ‘unbelievable gentleman’ and that he had come from a different generation.

Alan Cameron was born in California, and while stationed in New York, at Camp Shanks, waiting to be deployed overseas, he attended a dance.

At the dance, he met the lady that was to become his wife, Jane Bocket. They only had a week together before his transport left, but they regularly wrote to one another while David was serving.

David was determined that he would marry Jane as soon as he could after the war, and that is what he did.

The couple lived in Bocket Road in New York until Jane died in 2009.

With his advanced age, David Cameron has health challenges, but his daughter says that he is really doing well.  He can walk up and down the driveway, and he is alert and active.

He also thoroughly enjoyed the birthday greetings from all his neighbors. He waved enthusiastically from the front door as they slowly drove past his house waving signs and balloons for him.

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No-one got out of their car, so all the rules associated with fighting this pandemic were observed, but this venerable gentleman did not have to suffer a lackluster birthday.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE