Saluting a veteran 94 years young

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BERWICK, COLUMBIA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A community comes together to kick off Memorial Day weekend and honor one of their own.

A town with a rich history and a heart of blue and white.

“Berwick has always pulled together hard when times are down,” Deputy Chief Gene Boone of Ranger Hose Company said.

Answering the call to honor a local member of the ‘greatest generation’.

“He’s 94 and we weren’t sure if he’s going to make it to 95 so we wanted to give him the best birthday we could think of,” son Tim Everett said.

World War II and Korean War veteran Albert Everett getting the surprise of a lifetime planned by his children.

“He’s very social. He always has a joke to tell. He’s loved by a lot of people,” daughter Sheila Quick said.

That love stretching around the block with military vehicles, first responders and countless others sharing gratitude and hope in a trying time.

“What we’ve been finding is a lot of people’s spirits are down. You can’t visit loved ones,” Boone said.

Spirits high and sirens blaring as a community pays back the service of an American hero. A family and community reminded what it feels like to celebrate together as more and more pay their respects.

“All the love,” Tim said.

“And the humanity in people,” family member Kathy Stahl said. “I think this gave a lot of people who were participating a chance to get out and show their patriotism, their love and compassion.”

At the center of it all, gunner second class Albert Everett, returning salutes and love.

“We want Al to know that we remembered him and this is our way to honor him,” Stuart Tank Memorial Association President David Kovach said.

“It made me feel real good. Like I was 16 again,” Albert said.

More than 50 first responders and veterans took part in Saturday’s parade. Tim Everett says it all started as a small surprise and if it hadn’t been for coronavirus restrictions, hundreds more may have been on board to celebrate.

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