Students at a school in Mobile, Alabama, helped a World War II veteran celebrate his 106th birthday this week with a surprise party.
As he entered the auditorium of St. Paul’s Episcopal School, Major John Jacobson — known as “Mr. Jack” to most — received a standing ovation, television station WALA in Mobile reported Wednesday.
“I dare to say… You will never, ever, be in the company of another WWII veteran… 106 years young,” said Dr. Barry Booth, a veteran of the Vietnam War.
Jacobson is a local hero, serving as General Patton’s Quartermaster in WWII. Born in 1910, he’s lived through 11 decades and 18 presidents.
“When Major Jacobson was born … There were 100 horses on the street to one car,” Booth told the students. “Think about that.”
Major Jacobson also gave the students something to think about — challenging them to do an act of service.
“For his birthday, instead of a tangible gift, he actually wanted everyone at St. Paul’s to do an act of kindness. I will be purchasing a meal for a homeless person,” said Elizabeth Mueller, a senior at the school.
They also took a trip down memory lane, watching a video compiled of photos of his life from the 1930s to present day before bringing out a cake and singing “Happy Birthday.”
Mayor Sandy Stimpson also gave Jacobson a key to the city.
“God bless and thank you for everything,” Jacobson said.
The veteran also offered some inspiring advice to the students.
“One of the things that I’m being reminded is, you might say, is one extra day to live is another day that you have to serve. So keep that in mind as you go day to day. Thank you again for your presence here today,” Jacobson said.