MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - A World War II veteran who tours the country to raise awareness about the shrinking number of surviving vets was honored in Miami Beach on his 102nd birthday.
7News cameras captured Sidney Walton at a celebration held in his honor, Thursday. Now 102, the guest of honor still knows what he likes.
“You want a corned beach sandwich?” asked his son, Paul Walton.
“Yeah!” replied his father.
The younger Walton pointed out the event has extra special significance because of the location.
“Dad, we’re here, It’s not only your 102 birthday today, but we’re here in front of the Startlite Hotel,” said Paul. “Isn’t it beautiful?”
“Boy, it sure is,” his father replied.
“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 Paul.
Sidney is in the middle of a campaign that is taking him to all 50 states. He aims to meet all 50 governors to call attention to the sacrifices WWII veterans made, as well as to the fact that the number of surviving veterans is dwindling.
Among the city officials who were on hand at the event was Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber.
“We are so honored to have the mayor here, present. We know that his father, who was born on the same year as my dad, was also the mayor of Miami Beach,” said Paul.
Sidney joined the army nine months before Pearl Harbor. He said he left college to defeat Adolf Hitler.
“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,” said Paul. “These were the brave, courageous soldiers who saved this great nation.”
“I love America!” said Sidney to applause from the public.
Because of COVID-19, Sidney travels the country in his “No Regrets” vehicle. He’s got 35 states under his belt, and he is ready for the 36th state.
“Are you ready for that, Dad?” Paul said.
“I am,” replied Sidney.
“That’s my dad! I love you, Dad,” said Paul.
“I love you, too,” said Sidney as he received a kiss from his son.
Sidney said the secret to his longevity is something he calls “PMA”: a positive mental attitude.
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