A memorial service was held on the USS Iowa to honor a 99 year-old veteran, only three months after he was featured in a viral video where chief selects came to his house to honor him.
World War II Navy veteran Ernest Thompson passed away on November 3 but on Sunday, November 20, he was honored on the USS Iowa. The memorial included a flag raising ceremony, a wreath and the playing of Taps.
According to a release, Thompson played a crucial role in bringing the USS Iowa to Los Angeles. He normally visited the ship, but after some health issues, he could no longer make it to the ship.
After finding out that Thompson could no longer visit, chief selects from the U.S. Navy Fleet Anti-Submarine Warfare Center came to Thompson’s house to honor him. In the street outside his home, they sang the Navy’s march song, “Anchor’s Aweigh.”
Thompson then stood for the first time since suffering fro a fall earlier on in the year in order to salute those who came to honor him.
The video then went viral on the internet.
He celebrated his 99th birthday on October 26 and also made it to the USS Iowa’s museum one last time last month.
While serving in the Navy, Thompson served on the USS Missouri during World War II as well as the USS Tennessee when Pearl Harbor was attacked. He also witnessed the Japanese surrender in 1945 according to the release.