SAN DIEGO — A beloved World War II veteran was honored Thursday with a 125-mile motorcade from North Hollywood to San Diego in a trip that ended with him being buried next to his late wife.
The motorcade paid tribute to Sidney Walton, one of America’s oldest WWII veterans, who died Oct. 2 at age 102, his family announced. Walton spent much of his adult life in San Diego and was known for traveling the country — even past his 100th birthday — on his “No Regrets Tour” to raise awareness of a rapidly dwindling number of WWII veterans left in the country.
A police-escorted motorcade began carrying his remains around 10:30 a.m., and FOX 5 sister station KTLA flew overhead the line of vehicles for a glimpse at the procession. Upon arrival, a public visitation was held at El Camino’s Chapel of the Bells before he was transported to a nearby gravesite to be laid to rest next to his wife, Rena.
Walton left college in New York in March 1941 “to join the Army to fight Hitler,” his family said.
Walton was working to meet a lofty goal of visiting all 50 states and meeting all 50 governors, his son, Paul, wrote. He came up just 10 states shy of his goal: He visited Oklahoma on Sept. 28 to meet his 40th governor, Gov. Kevin Stitt.
“Sidney inspired millions of people across America,” his family wrote. “He raised awareness of the dwindling number of WWII veterans and gave everyone a chance to meet one before there are no more.”
His obituary lists an impressive array of honors, including being seated behind former President Trump at the 75th anniversary of Normandy, participating in the coin flip at Super Bowl LIV and having dinner at the home of Gen. Mark Milley at his Virginia home.
FOX 5’s Matt Meyer and Dillon Davis contributed to this story.