The entire country of Canada is wishing war veteran Fred Arsenault a happy birthday
The Toronto veteran who asked to receive 100 birthday cards is officially a centenarian today, and Canadians across the country are taking the opportunity to wish him well.
Fred Arsenault first issued the request several months ago when a photo of him holding a sign saying, "I'm a WW2 veteran about to turn 100 years old on March 6th 2020 and would like to receive 100 brithday cards," was posted to Reddit before quickly circulating all over social media.
The Royal Canadian Legion wishes Fred Arsenault a Happy 100th Birthday! Thank you for your service. pic.twitter.com/shTxYdMkSD— The Royal Canadian Legion (@RoyalCdnLegion) March 6, 2020
Arsenault served with the Cape Breton Highlanders during WWII and now resides in Scarborough.
On behalf of your @RoyalCanNavy, we were proud to present Pte (ret’d) Fred Arsenault with this painting, painted by #HMCSYork’s very own LS Hakime and signed by @CO_HMCSYork and our Ship’s Company.— HMCS YORK / NCSM YORK ⚓️ (@HMCS_NCSM_YORK) March 5, 2020
Thank you for your service and Happy 100th, Fred! #CanadaRemembers pic.twitter.com/JAEBuMf3S4
Residents across the country were instantly touched by his plea and began sending him cards en masse.
Happy 100th birthday to Fred Arsenault! Mr. Arsenault is a WWII veteran who asked for 100 cards for his 100th birthday. I was happy to send one along earlier this week! Thank you for your service, wishing you all the best. https://t.co/VonPT81fqL— Doug Ford (@fordnation) March 6, 2020
Students from all over Canada began making and sending him handmade cards, Canadian vocals group The Tenors sent him a personalized musical greeting, and a Nova Scotia chocolatier run by Syrian refugees sent Arsenault three letters in three languages thanking him for his service.
His birthday party, taking place today, will include a live band, a homemade cake and countless cards sent by strangers from all over the country.
And on social media, the wishes are even more plentiful.
Happy Birthday Mr. Fred Arsenault. Thank you for your service. Your participation in WWII made the world a place safer and we shall be forever grateful. I’m extremely proud to to have served having soldiers like Pte Arsenault to look up to. #100years #WW2Veteran #CAFVeteran https://t.co/tV19YUSroE— Danny Nickel 🇨🇦 (@DanNickel) March 5, 2020
Even Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took the opportunity to wish the veteran on his big day.
Happy birthday, Fred. I hope you’re having an extraordinary birthday. And thanks to the thousands of people from across Canada and around the world who gave this Canadian hero the celebration he deserves! https://t.co/0cTk6fHo7B— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) March 6, 2020
"Happy birthday, Fred. I hope you’re having an extraordinary birthday," he wrote on Twtitter. "And thanks to the thousands of people from across Canada and around the world who gave this Canadian hero the celebration he deserves!"
Today is Fred Arsenault's 100th Birthday! Arsenault and his son put out a call on social media for 100 bday cards. They got more than 90,000 cards and counting from all over the world! If you want to send a belated card here's the address:— Brandon Rowe (@BrandonRoweTV) March 6, 2020
9 Kenmore Ave
M1K 1B3 pic.twitter.com/gHTvbv59Jq
As of yesterday afternoon, The Royal Canadian Legion reported that Arsenault had received over 90,000 cards from all over the world, not just Canada.
A call on social media for 100 cards for Fred Arsenault's 100th Birthday resulted in over 90,000 cards and counting from all over the world! Happy Birthday, Fred! Thank you for your service. ♥️ pic.twitter.com/YR3OPk1j0q— The Royal Canadian Legion (@RoyalCdnLegion) March 5, 2020
That number is likely to have increased even more since yesterday.
"More than 90,000 birthday cards!" Toronto Mayor John Tory wrote on Twitter. "Thank you to everyone who sent a birthday card to veteran Fred Arsenault for his 100th birthday!"
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