Nation’s Oldest Pearl Harbor Veteran, 106, Gets a Patriotic Farewell in San Diego County

This week, Poway said goodbye to its most famous citizen, Ray Chavez, who until his death at age 106 last month, was the nation’s oldest surviving Pearl Harbor veteran.

Pearl Harbor survivor Ray Chavez (center) sits with his daughter Kathleen Chavez (left) and Chief Warrant Officer 4 Dorian Bozza (right) during a ceremony commemorating the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor at Kilo Pier on Dec. 7, 2016, in Honolulu, Hawaii. (Credit: Craig T. Kojima - Pool/Getty Images)

Pearl Harbor survivor Ray Chavez (center) sits with his daughter Kathleen Chavez (left) and Chief Warrant Officer 4 Dorian Bozza (right) during a ceremony commemorating the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor at Kilo Pier on Dec. 7, 2016, in Honolulu, Hawaii. (Credit: Craig T. Kojima – Pool/Getty Images)

After a 90-minute Mass at St. Michael’s Catholic Church on Thursday, the funeral cortege, led by dozens of motorcycles, rolled underneath an enormous American flag hanging from a fire ladder truck and past hundreds of Poway schoolchildren waving miniature flags.

There were also scattered groups of local residents waving flags and handmade signs on street corners along the way toward Interstate 15.

Chavez’s daughter and longtime caretaker, Kathleen Chavez, said after the service that her quiet and humble dad would have been overwhelmed by the day’s events, which concluded with a burial with full military honors at Miramar National Cemetery.

Read the full story at LATimes.com.

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