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Ashland veteran celebrates 95th birthday with parade and cake

A 95-year-old World War II veteran in Ashland celebrated his birthday with a surprise parade and what he calls the most important part of a birthday celebration: cake.

Posted: Apr 20, 2020 7:11 PM

ASHLAND, Ore. — Joseph Vidmar had celebrated his birthday about 94 times before today and even with a pandemic keeping him six feet away from others, this one took the cake.

"Oh this is probably the best," Vidmar said when asked how his 95th birthday stacked up to the others.

A caravan of cars, trucks and motorcycles drove down his street. They revved their engines, honked their horns and waved as they drove past Vidmar's home in Ashland. American flags honored the World War II veteran's service to his country.

Vidmar has happy to celebrate today with friends and family, with some of them calling in via a Zoom conference call. He was all smiles as he waved back to the members of the parade. Smiling, he says, is part of the key to a long life.

"You got to eat good and always laugh at everything that's funny," Vidmar said with a chuckle.

His other secret: keep your family close no matter where they are in the world.

"Love your kids because they're not your kids anymore they're your best friends."

And while birthday parades and celebrations from a distance become the new norm during the novel coronavirus' pandemic, Vidmar says having a good birthday is still possible.

"You can still celebrate your birthday even though you're still locked in a house with somebody. You still get your cake. That's the big part. If you've got your cake, you've got your birthday," Vidmar said with a laugh.

All it takes to celebrate... is cake.

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