Pearl Harbor survivor celebrates 100th birthday in Jackson with cannons and square dancing

JACKSON, MI – Dozens of vehicles crawled down Courtland Street in Jackson, their drivers and passengers honking and waving at Herb Elfring, a Pearl Harbor survivor of World War II who sat in a high-backed padded chair on the sidewalk at the exterior of the First United Methodist Church. It was Elfring’s 100th anniversary.

Later, other military veterans stood in a line to greet Elfring as he rang a bell to honor the survivors of the December 7, 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that dragged the United States into World War II. world. Elfring also fired artillery as part of a gun salute.

Related: Pearl Harbor vet turns 100

The community of Jackson came out on a cold Saturday afternoon to celebrate Elfring’s century on Earth with food consisting of sliders, pies, cookies and cupcakes that were arranged to form a “100”. The Kiwanis club threw out milkshakes for the crowd, since they were invented the same year Elfring was born: 1922.

Finally, no birthday would be complete without dancing. Single Squares pulled out a dance floor and got Elfring moving with square dancing, one of his favorite pastimes. Elfring smiled and danced with his partners, looking like he was having the time of his life.

“You only get up once this way,” he said. “And who knows what to expect with that.

“I thought it was just another birthday, but I guess it’s not. It was more than that.”