PERRY, Okla. – Many in our state paused to honor the life of a WWII veteran on Wednesday morning in Perry.
Herman White was born on Dec. 1, 1921. Last month, he passed away at the age of 97. He had no surviving family members.
On Wednesday, a community rallied behind the veteran to make sure he had a hero’s goodbye.
Hundreds were on hand to witness the passing of an American patriot.
“Today, they really came out and paid respects,” said Raymond Wagoner, of Perry.
But this funeral was not the typical WWII veteran services. When 97-year-old Herman White passed away in August, a fellow Perry resident realized the former Navy man had no living immediate family.
His wife passed in 1998, and his only son died a year after. So the local funeral home teamed up with the Perry American Legion chapter to raise funds and put on services for the medal recipient.
Patriot Guard Riders led the procession through town and hundreds of veterans, along with current servicemen and women, came to pay their respects.
“We honor our own but I was glad to see the others that came out that aren’t veterans that just wanted to make sure that he got the service he deserved,” said Ervin Bier, of the Perry American Legion and Vietnam veteran.
State senators and representatives were in attendance, and letters were read from Governor Stitt and President Trump.
“It awesome that he can be remembered by so many people,” said Mike Ewy.
Ewy was neighbors with Herman White for the last 13 years. He says the veteran was quiet about his service in the Pacific Theatre.
“Give them the respect they are due to be given. They have fought for this country for what we have and we should be grateful,” said Arielle Jackson, a Navy recruiter in Oklahoma City.
She made the social media post that started the flood of donations to cover the funeral costs and also led to the hundreds in attendance.
“I see it on social media, on the news all the time everywhere else, and like this is my first time being a part of something like this. It’s just amazing. It’s an honor, just an honor to me,” said Jackson.
The service was a fitting final tribute to a member of America’s greatest generation.