LIVERPOOL, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — In the wake of social distancing and COVID-19, birthday parties and celebrations certainly look different these days.
But when a Korean War Veteran turns 90 years old, you can guarantee there will still be a celebration.
Sunday, engines were revving and sirens were blasting as dozens of riders from the American Legion and Patriot Guard Riders’ clubs banded together to celebrate Bill Bak.
He served in Korea for one year during the war in 1952-1953.
“For a 90 year-old-man and being vertical, I’m very fortunate,” Bill Bak, Korean War Veteran
The “motorcade” started at the Wegmans on Taft Road and paraded through the Village of Liverpool.
Members of the Onondaga County Sheriffs, county Park Rangers, Liverpool Fire Department and Liverpool Police Department escorted the parade while friends and neighbors celebrated Bak’s 90 years and his service for our country.
“It’s just an honor. He’s done so much for us throughout the years growing up and provided a wonderful home for us, a loving home for us and this is the least that we can do to be here, to honor him, on his 90th birthday and honor his service in the Korean War,” said Tim Bak, Bill’s son.
The American Legion Riders and Patriot Guard Riders clubs honor veterans whenever possible, but usually they serve as flag lines for funerals.
However, during the pandemic, the groups have been performing missions for veterans who are still alive, to celebrate their special day and accomplishments.
For Bak, it was a surprise and a ride along he was never expecting!
“His reaction was amazing… I don’t think he had a dry eye the whole time and I don’t think I did either,” Tim explained.
This is a tear-jerker. I had no idea, but it’s very nice that these people showed up to have a beautiful day, you know. Every day when you’re on top of the lawn, it’s a beautiful day!Bill Bak, Korean War Veteran, celebrating 90 years
For all the years to come, this year’s birthday is one Bak will always remember.