Veterans Honored On 75th Anniversary Of WWII’s Final Day

Saturday, August 15th 2020, 8:19 pm
By: Tevis Hillis

EDMOND, Okla. -

VJ Day will always hold sentimental value to Ralph Kenneth Lawson.

Lawson, who served as a corporal during World War II, was joined by neighbors for a drive-by parade Saturday celebrating the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII.  

"My first day I was taught in the Marine Corps: when given an order, follow an order," Cpl. Lawson said.

And that is what Cpl. Lawson did while on guard duty.

"Everybody who goes through this gate shows (an) ID card," Cpl. Lawson said. "He (a man) stopped. He hadn’t shown the ID card and I had a .45 loaded. I pulled that .45 out and went, ‘Wooooo,’"

He did not even let an admiral go through without his card.

"And from then on, it’s all history," Cpl. Lawson said. 

History was made with Cpl. Lawson. His story can be found at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library in Abilene, Kan.

Cpl. Lawson is now 96. Seventy-five years ago Saturday, he was celebrating.

"They were all happy,” Edmond Mayor Dan O’Neil said. “They announced the end of World War II and VJ Day, which is 75 years ago this very day.”

As Cpl. Lawson celebrates and is celebrated, it is also a time to lift spirits after a difficult week.

"Unfortunately, he (Cpl. Lawson) transitioned into hospice this week," Oklahoma Warriors Honor Flight member Nicole Doyle said.

Oklahoma Warriors Honor Flight worked quickly to pull the event together.

"Unbelievable, unbelievable," Cpl. Lawson said of Saturday’s drive-by parade.