NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — First came a tour of duty, now there’s a tour of no regrets.
A World War Two veteran is crisscrossing the country ahead of his 100th birthday and on Monday, he passed through Central Park.
At 99-years-old, Sidney Walton still remembers his time in Asia during the war. He also clearly recalls missing out on the chance to meet the last surviving Civil War veterans who had gathered in Central Park to greet people in 1941.
Now, the vet raised in Brooklyn is on his own national tour with his son, Paul, with the goal of meeting every U.S. governor and talking with folks from all over the country.
“I love to travel,” Walton said. “I love New York.”
The father and son plan to visit all 50 states and have 45 left to go before they hopefully end up in Washington D.C. on Sidney’s 100th birthday next February.
The brave faces of the war are disappearing, according to the National World War Two Museum. Only about 500,000 of the 16 million Americans who served are still living.
As a result, travelling for Sidney and Paul is a true gift. It’s something people like William Civian absolutely understand.
“It’s an invaluable treasure,” he said. “They have a story to tell and it should be heard.”
Though his son says he doesn’t talk more about the war and the past, everyone who showed up to greet Sidney in Central Park appreciated his mere presence.
“I feel good,” Sidney said. “I’m glad people acknowledge.”