Lakewood WWII veteran celebrates 105th birthday with car parade, thousands of cards

Sam Sachs, a World War II veteran, celebrated his 105th birthday with a parade of well-wishers in cars driving by his Lakewood home.
LAKEWOOD, Calif. (KABC) -- People in cars streamed past a senior living home in Lakewood to wish World War II veteran Lt. Col. Sam Sachs a happy 105th birthday on Sunday.

The original plan was to throw him a big birthday party, but with the danger of the novel coronavirus making a large gathering impossible, the drive-by salute turned out to be the answer.

"Who could have imagined this was happening to little Sam Sachs from Grand Forks, North Dakota," he said speaking from the front yard.

MORE: Birthday cards flooding in after Lakewood WWII veteran's request

That young man from North Dakota served his country, landing in Normandy, France on D-Day in 1944. The invasion by American troops and Allies eventually led to the end of World War II.

"I remember it as though it happened yesterday," he said last year during an anniversary ceremony honoring him. "The whole thing is in my mind and will never be erased."

Thousands of well-wishers sent Sachs birthday cards after he posted a video online.

The upbeat 105-year-old veteran was grateful for the special celebration.

"I don't have words to express how I feel in here and in here," he said pointing to his heart and cap.

Back in North Dakota, the mayor of his hometown declared it "Sam Sachs Day."
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