Officer remains standing through rainstorm to honor 100-year-old WWII Veteran

A police officer in Alabama paid respect to a 100-year-old World War II Veteran by standing through the entire funeral procession in a rainstorm.

“That’s what vets do,” Officer Newman Brazier of the Mount Vernon Police Department said. “I felt that he wanted to be acknowledged. I felt that being from a small town like Mount Vernon and that he can do what he did, and he can pass, and nobody realize it and not respect it. It was my point to let everyone in that area know that he was there, he was passing through, even if it was for the last time.”

Private First Class Robert Lee Serling, one of the few black men to fight in the Pacific, was 100 years old when he passed away on June 5.

“Somebody like that, you marvel at their respect, admiration, and all they stand for,” President and Founder of the 92nd Division Buffalo Soldier WW2 Eddie Irby Jr. said.

The officer’s sign of respect for the fallen veteran comes as a World War II Veteran in Florida spends his time creating signs that he says will spread hope around his community and the country.

Herman Mehling, 98, spends hours every week hand-crafting signs made out of wood which he gives out for free. However, at first glance, it may be hard to tell what exactly the signs spell out.

Screenshot: First Coast News

“When they first get it in their hand, I can’t read it myself,” Mehling said. “You got to get back roughly four or five, six feet. And then your eyes, zero in on it, and you know what word it is.”

“It’s a fun way for people to figure out,” Joe Moore, one of Mehling’s friends, said. “It’s like a puzzle. And when they get it. So what’s the first thing they usually say? ‘Wow, I see it! Jesus!'”

Screenshot: First Coast News

Mehling worked with his hands as a sheet metal worker during World War II. After serving his country in the Navy, he served as a police officer with the New York Police Department and later as a firefighter with the New York Fire Department. 

Throughout the pandemic, Mehling says he created upwards of fifty “Jesus” signs per week.

“Some days maybe eight or ten, other days maybe I make fifteen or twenty,” he explained.