The longer quarantine lasts, the more things are missed. From schools moving classes online to weddings and other celebrations being rescheduled or canceled, there are countless events that have fallen by the wayside. In tough times though, people get creative. That seems to be especially true with birthday celebrations. For some, birthdays may seem like no big deal but when you reach a certain age, each new year is an exciting milestone.
In Pearl River, New York, where World War II veteran and longtime resident Alan Cameron resides, his community made sure to make him feel appreciated on his special day. It wasn’t just any birthday for Cameron, either, it was his 101st. Pretty impressive!
Community Bands Together
At the time of his birthday, Alan Cameron was quarantined with his daughter, Debbie David, at his home in Pearl River. They expected a quiet day celebrated just between the two of them, so it came as quite a surprise when a sudden parade of cars began rolling down the street.
Organized with the help of the local police force, a whole parade of cars filled with family, friends, neighbors and members of the fire department gathered and drove slowly past Cameron’s house wishing him well. Some people held colorful banners and signs out their window, while others brought balloons.
Serving His Country
It’s quite a lot of life to have lived, 101 years, so it’s no surprise that Cameron has a pretty impressive and exciting past behind him. Originally from California, before shipping off to France to fight in World War II, Cameron was stationed at Camp Shanks in New York. In his short time there, he met Jane Bocket, who he immediately connected with. The two wrote each other letters the entire time he was serving abroad and when he came back, they got married. The two shared their lives together until Bocket passed away in 2009.
After serving in France during the war, Alan Cameron continued to work in the military and spent time in Germany investigating war crimes. Following his stint in Germany, he remained a member of the reserves for many years and eventually retired as a lieutenant colonel.
A Man of Many Talents
Once he returned from his time serving in Germany, Cameron wore a number of hats. For a long time, he worked in advertising in New York City. It’s been quite some time since he did that work and he admits that the brands he worked for no longer exist. Cameron also worked as a real estate agent for a time and as a municipality worker utilizing some skills he had gained in the army. He retired in the 1980s but has kept busy and involved since.
Neighbors Show Their Appreciation
It was made clear by the long line of vehicles that showed up for the celebration there is quite an outpouring of love and appreciation for this heroic man. One neighbor of his, Michael Finer, was interviewed by USA Today. He said of Cameron, “He’s amazing. He is an unbelievable gentleman.” There is no doubt then that Alan Cameron has left his mark on the community. And while this birthday may be a bit of an unconventional one, it certainly will not be forgotten anytime soon.
Still Worth Celebrating
If you have a friend or family member with a birthday or other important day coming up, be sure to find a way to make them feel special. Whether it’s a drive-by greeting, a virtual hello or a handmade care package on their doorstep, we could all use a pick-me-up. Quarantine birthdays are still birthdays!
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