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‘Berlin Candy Bomber’ Celebrates 100th Birthday With Vehicle Parade

PROVO, Utah — Colonel Gail S. Halvorsen, also known as the “Berlin Candy Bomber,” celebrated his 100th birthday with a safe and socially distanced vehicle parade.

The event was put on Saturday by the Wasatch Range Chapter and the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution.

Prior to the vehicle parade, the Utah native was presented with a Quilt of Valor, according to the DAR’s press release.

“Just as we, the descendants of those early patriots of our nation continue to honor and remember them, your life is one of the purest examples of American goodness and greatness, and will be preserved and honored in perpetuity,” said Kelly N. Schaeffer-Bullock, regent of the Wasatch Range Chapter. “We award you with this Quilt of Valor as a tangible reminder that there are hundreds of millions of women and men throughout this land, and throughout the world, who are forever in your debt.”

Friends and neighbors then stood as the Star Spangled Banner rang throughout the neighborhood.

Halvorsen was seated on his front porch as dozens of people drove by.

Parade participants included representatives from the Provo City Police Department, members of the DAR and the Children of the American Revolution, military members and veterans, representatives of American Heritage School, and members of the community.

“America the Beautiful” closed out the parade, then friends and family joined together in singing “Happy Birthday” to the colonel.

Halvorsen shared some wise words as he celebrated his birthday Saturday.

“Be concerned about other people a lot. They have goals and they’re going in different directions,” he said. “You’ve got a series of signs in your head — stop signs, caution, go slow — but be concerned. Be concerned where you can, to give them words of wisdom and help them in what they’re trying to accomplish. Attitude, gratitude, and service before self.”

Halvorsen served with the U.S. Air Force during World War II. He earned the nickname — “Berlin Candy Bomber” — for dropping candy to children during the Berlin airlift, which took place after the war.

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