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County honors World War II veteran, former North Merrick firefighter on his 100th birthday


Nassau County residents came out in full force to celebrate a World War II veteran’s 100th birthday on May 29.

Members of the Nassau County Police Department, the Nassau County Firefighters’ Pipes and Drums Band, the North Merrick Fire Department, the Franklin Square & Munson Fire Department, friends and family all drove by the Plattduetsche Retirement Home to congratulate Col. Charles P. Kerns on his milestone birthday.

Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder also presented Kerns with an honorary badge, and State Sen. John Brooks, a Democrat from Seaford, presented him with a framed proclamation and Senate resolution extolling his contributions to the country.

Kerns is the highest-ranking World War II veteran in the county, serving in the United States Army for 34 years. He served as a logistics officer, overseeing the invasion of Normandy from Great Britain and then France as the war progressed, eventually managing the withdrawal of troops and equipment after the Allies’ victory in Europe.

He also served as a volunteer firefighter for the North Merrick Fire Department for 70 years.

The resolution Brooks wrote, said Kerns “has inspired and enhanced the lives of his family and friends” and “has enriched the lives of those around him through his joyous and sincere love for others, and through the quiescent charm and wisdom which comes only from a fullness of years.”