By Matt Masters
Wilson County’s oldest veteran, Max Anderson, a retired World War II U.S. Navy pilot, celebrated his 100th birthday on Memorial Day in Mt. Juliet with a police and motorcycle club escort Monday afternoon down Mt. Juliet Road.
State Sen. Mark Pody, state Rep. Susan Lynn, Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto, Lebanon Mayor Bernie Ash and Mt. Juliet Mayor Ed Hagerty awarded Anderson with several proclamations and gifts.
All three mayors proclaimed May 27 as Max Anderson Day across Wilson County as a crowd of more than 100 people gathered for the event at the Mt. Juliet train station. The event coincided with the close of the “Honoring Our American Flag” display, a display of dozens of American flags, which was organized by the local Exchange Club and American Legion.
Lynn presented Anderson with an American flag and Tennessee flag, both of which flew above the state capitol and hand-delivered a birthday certificate on behalf of Gov. Bill Lee.
“Thank you all for coming out to my birthday,” Anderson said. “On this occasion, we are here to give thanks to those who gave our lives so that our country might see freedom again, and as an airplane pilot flying over the countryside, I’ve looked down to so many pretty things – Niagara Falls half froze up, Yosemite, San Francisco – so many places that Lord you have put here for us. Now, I thank every one of you for the greetings on my birthday, and I thank the Lord for 100 years living on Earth, this beautiful planet.”
The ceremony ended as Anderson cut an American flag birthday cake and a long line of grateful people awaited their turn to meet, congratulate and thank Anderson.