Friends organize impressive parade for local veteran’s 103rd birthday

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Born in 1917, Cliff Mathis has seen a lot over the years. But nothing quite like the spectacle he witnessed on his 103rd birthday Wednesday.

“Boy, that’s out of this world! Thank you so much,” Mathis said as a long line of motorcycles, Humvees, trucks and Jeeps paraded by Summit View Terrace Senior Living on Bannister Road.

“With everything going on in the world, we thought this was the best way we could get a group of people together and drive by and wish him a happy birthday,” said Jamie Engelhardt, who helped to organize the birthday parade.

Born and raised in the metro, Mathis spent 18 years in the Army and served 62 months overseas during World War II.

Mathis snapped off several sharp salutes as vehicles thundered by to wish him a happy birthday.

“I do appreciate you guys. You don’t know how much I appreciate it,” Mathis said.  “I am an old World War II guy, so we don’t have too many of those left I don’t think.”

Making the day even more special: Cliff’s wife of 74 years, 101-year-old Alice was seated next to him for the parade in his honor.

“We’ve been married since 1946,” Mathis said. “The best sweetheart a guy could ever ask for.”

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