World War II veteran and New York native Sidney Walton died Saturday morning at 102, leaving behind a lifetime of inspiration to the many he touched.
The man died in Santa Monica, Calif., according to family members.
“My father was a living piece of history, reminding us not to forget the price of our freedoms today,” his son, Paul Walton, told the New York Post. “He inspired tremendous appreciation for all veterans.”
Walton had a grand goal of meeting all 50 governors while raising awareness about the sacrifices of World War II veterans. It was part of his “No Regrets” tour that he started back in 2018. Accompanied by his sons, the road trip also raised money for U.S. hospital nurses working to fight COVID-19.
According to his website, on Sept. 28, he visited Gov. Kevin Sitt and Oklahoma for his 40th state. His website also lists the governors he’s met over the years.
While the tour started in Delaware, Paul Walton said it was going to end there.
Last year, the native New Yorker was honored by the Empire State. He got a City Hall statue for his 101st birthday, and Mayor Bill de Blasio gave him a proclamation.
According to the Kansas Reflector, Walton was also motivated by a British Army captain’s campaign last year. Capt. Tom Moore, who fought during World War II and served in Burma, worked to raise money for charity as he turned 100. Though he died in February, he raised $46 million for English healthcare workers.
Walton’s Path To Serving
Walton, born to Jewish immigrant parents, was raised on the Lower East Side and Brooklyn. He attended City College of New York. Born in 1919, Walton was an Army volunteer. He signed up eight months before Pearl Harbor and was determined “to fight Hitler.”
According to Fox News, Walton trained for European combat with his unit before a broken ankle changed his mission. But the injury changed Walton’s mission. He became an Army medical technician for the 34th Infantry, 8th Division. Later, he rose to the ranks of corporal.
In 1946, the Army discharged Walton, and he went on to a career as a chemical engineer.
Veteran In Spotlight
In the last few years of his life, Walton started his “No Regrets” tour. He based it on experiences he had early in life. Reportedly, he missed out on a chance to meet a few then-living Civil War veterans at the 1939 World’s Fair in New York City.
Walton met American and French presidents. He also was featured with four surviving World War II veterans at the 2020 Super Bowl in a coin flip. NBC’s “TODAY Show” and ABC’s “World News Tonight” also featured Walton.
Fox Nation also presented Walton with the 2020 Unsung Hero Patriot Award during its second annual Patriot Awards.
Walton was one of nine national heroes honored during the second annual event.