The South Dade community came out on Monday afternoon to honor a Navy Veteran and Pearl Harbor survivor who was celebrating his 99th birthday.
John Hatcher served on the USS Phoenix and was at Pearl Harbor during the Japanese attack. He ultimately served his country for 20 years as a Navy cook.
After retiring from the Navy, he joined the US Postal Service, and was the first African-American letter carrier in Goulds. He took night classes in tax accounting and ran his own tax business while working for the Postal Service and after retiring from USPS.
Mr. Hatcher's family and friends couldn't hold the huge celebratory party they felt he richly deserved due to the pandemic, so instead they organized a drive-thru celebration. Over a hundred cars, including Homestead Police, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue and the Military Affairs Council, turned out to honor his life, his service to his country, and his 99th birthday.
Mr. Hatcher was thrilled as he sat at the entrance of the American Legion in Homestead while car after car, many decorated with signs, bunting, balloons and banners, honked their horns and celebrated as they drove by shouting Happy Birthday wishes.