fred arsenault

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. 

Arsenault served with the Cape Breton Highlanders during WWII and now resides in Scarborough.

Residents across the country were instantly touched by his plea and began sending him cards en masse. 

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. 

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," 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!"

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. 

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!"

Lead photo by

4 Cdn Division

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