The body of Sidney Walton, a longtime San Diego resident and one of the country's last surviving World War II vets who passed away Saturday in Santa Monica surrounded by his family, will travel by motorcade from Los Angeles on Thursday before being laid to rest in Sorrento Valley.
Walton was born on Feb. 11, 1919, and was on a national "No Regrets Tour;" hoping to visit all 50 states and meet all 50 governors to raise awareness of the diminishing number of WWII veterans and the sacrifices they made. Last Tuesday, the 102-year-old visited Oklahoma and met with Gov. Kevin Stitt. Oklahoma was his 40th state.
On Thursday at 10:30 a.m., police officers will lead a motorcade departing from the Pierce Brothers Valhallah Mortuary (10621 Victory Blvd. in North Hollywood) for the 125-mile trip down Interstate 5. The public is being "encouraged to participate in this once-in-a-lifetime, moving memorial tribute," an official said, and was also invited to the memorial at the Chapel of the Bells in El Camino Memorial Park (5600 Carroll Canyon Road), where commemorations will be held beginning at 1:30 p.m.
A private service and burial are scheduled for 3 p.m., at which time Walton will be interred next to his wife, Rena.
"My father was a living piece of history, reminding us not to forget the price of our freedoms today," Walton's son Paul said in a statement released over the weekend "He inspired tremendous appreciation for all veterans."
The veteran was stationed in Asia with the Army during World War II, before going on to a career as a chemical engineer. Walton said the idea for the No Regrets Tour came from the regret of never meeting some of the last Civil War veterans
During his lifetime, Walton met with presidents of the U.S. and France, was honored at the 2020 Super Bowl, celebrated a birthday on the Today Show, was featured on World News Tonight, and received the 2020 Unsung Hero Patriot Award.