Memorial Held on USS Iowa After World War II Veteran Featured in Touching Viral Tribute Dies

A memorial was held Sunday for a World War II veteran who died less than three months after being honored by Chief Selects outside of his Gardena home in a widely viewed video.

Photos of Ernest Thompson on the USS Iowa on Nov. 20, 2016. (Credit: KTLA)

Photos of Ernest Thompson on the USS Iowa on Nov. 20, 2016. (Credit: KTLA)

Ernest Thompson passed away at his home "peacefully" on Nov. 3, according to a Battleship Iowa news release. He was 99 years old.

On Sunday afternoon, many showed up to the ship Thompson so loved to honor and celebrate his life. The memorial included a wreath and flag-raising ceremony, and the playing of Taps.

Thompson played a pivotal role in bringing the USS Iowa to the Port of Los Angeles. He regularly visited the ship to deliver lectures and share his memories until last year, when he was unable to go due to health issues, the release stated.

Because he could no longer visit, chief selects from the U.S. Navy Fleet Anti-Submarine Warfare Center paid tribute to the veteran by going to Thompson's home and singing the Navy's march song, "Anchors Aweigh," in the middle of the residential street back in August.

Amid the singing, Thompson stood and saluted, the first time he was able to stand or walk since he suffered a fall earlier this year, a spokesman for the Battleship Iowa Museum said at the time.

Ernest Thompson is seen in a Aug. 13 video being honored in front of his Gardena Home.

Ernest Thompson is seen in a Aug. 13 video being honored in front of his Gardena Home.

"It was quite impressive ... I enjoyed it very much," Thompson told KTLA in an interview back in August.

Video of the emotional and touching tribute was circulated online and viewed millions of times.

The day was "one of the best" of Thompson's life, according to his grandson.

Thompson celebrated his 99th birthday on Oct. 26 and even made it to the ship’s museum last month, according to the release.

While serving in the U.S. military, Thompson was aboard the USS Tennessee when Pearl Harbor was attacked, and later -- while on the USS Missouri -- he witnessed the Japanese surrender in 1945, the release stated.

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked donations to be sent to: Ernest R. Thompson Memorial Fund, Pacific Battleship Center, 250 S. Harbor Blvd., San Pedro, CA, 90731.