Meyer Lewis



For Private Myer Lewis (no relation to Harold), the war took a different turn. Now 103 years old and known as Jerry to his friends, he enlisted at 19 in Ottawa, joining the Motor Transport Unit. His flat feet kept him out of the front lines, and he served most of his time in England, driving trucks when you still had to hand-crank the engines and performing supply duties.

He can remember still the sight of London on the day of the Victory Parade, after the Armistice of November 1918. "The lights had been turned off during the way," he recalled on the phone from his retirement home. "And they turned all the lights on again. It was big, big thrill."

He donned the military uniform again when the Second World War broke out, serving this time as an aviation storekeeper with the U.S. Navy in England during the London Blitz. His unit escorted the first German U-boat that surfaced after the surrender was announced in 1945.

An insurance salesman, who also served in the military reserves, Mr. Lewis lived most of his life in Chicago, with his wife Emily. "My wife was a dietitian," he said when asked how he's live so long. "She took good care of me."

This year, he was named Grand Marshal of the local Veterans Day parade. "It was an honour," he said, "to serve my country."

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