Ray Chavez was the main attraction at the U.S.S. Midway Saturday afternoon. He is the oldest surviving veteran of the Pearl Harbor Attacks during World War II. This week, he turned 105 years old.
“He's just an incredible man,” said actor and master of ceremonies Jack Scalia. “I mean the Wright brothers were still putting the plane up in the air back when he was born.”
Mr. Chavez still gets around well. He uses a cane, but still manages to go to the gym.
All Saturday afternoon, he was thoroughly recognized with speeches, songs and medals.
He even received a letter from President George H.W. Bush.
“I think the most exciting thing is getting to look at Ray's face and wonder what's going through his head,” said retired FDNY Lt. Joe Torillo. “Did he ever think at any point in his life that he'd garner so much attention?”
That’s a good question. Mr. Chavez enjoyed himself today, but his words were soft and few. When asked what he liked most about the celebration, this was his reply:
“Meeting the family that I haven't seen for some time. and the people being so friendly and helpful.”