By Maralisa Marra
On Aug. 2, local World War II veteran Robert Harold celebrated a significant milestone, his 100th birthday.
He was honored at the Harrison County Senior Citizens Center. The celebration was a collaboration between the Senior Center and the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center to shine light on Harold’s fruitful life.
Harold was born and raised in Harrisville.
He said he used to meet up in Shinnston with fellow VFW members.
“We would meet just to talk over things and what we could do to better our organization,” Harold said.
He also said, “I usually get the Shinnston paper, and read it pretty well all the way through. It has got some interesting articles.”
Senior Center Board of Directors President Bill O’Field reflected on the time he first met Harold earlier this year.
“As board president, if I see somebody new or sitting alone, I like to try to engage them,” O’Field said. “During the conversation [with Harold], he said he’s 99 years old. Well, I was off the chart at that point, and then he said, ‘I’ll be 100 Aug. 2,’ and I said, ‘Wow.’”
O’Field also said, “We don’t get to do this very often. We have most seniors make it into their nineties, but a hundred is truly remarkable.”
Representatives of the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center presented Harold with a Quilt of Valor.
“This quilt says unequivocally thank you for your service and sacrifice in serving our nation,” Medical Center Director Barbara Forsha said.
“The quilts are a symbol of healing and thank you,” Forsha added. “We honor your birthday. We honor your 100 years, and we hope this gift keeps you warm for a very, very long time.”
Over 300,000 quilts have been awarded to various members, according to Forsha.
Harrison County Commission President Susan Thomas presented Harold with a proclamation.
“Now therefore, be it resolved, that World War II Veteran Robert Elwood Harold will celebrate his hundredth birthday on Aug. 2, 2022 and attributes his longevity to his healthy lifestyle, including a healthy diet, exercise, and positive outlook on life,” Thomas said. “Now therefore, let it be further resolved that the Harrison County Commission does hereby proclaim Aug. 2, 2022 as Robert Elwood Harold Day to recognize the honorable life of World War II Veteran Robert Elwood Harold on his hundredth birthday.”
The ceremony commenced with Harold’s favorite cake, German chocolate.
“His mother always made him a German chocolate cake no matter what the economic situation was,” Executive Director of the Harrison County Senior Center Beth Fitzgerald said.