Bethpage WWII Army nurse celebrates 100th birthday with parade
A Bethpage veteran who served as an Army nurse during World War II celebrated her 100th birthday Tuesday.
Irene Haber couldn't have a party due to social distancing rules, so she got a parade instead.
As the beloved birthday girl watched from a bench in the parking lot of her Sundown Drive home, a procession of vehicles streamed by with well-wishers honking their horns.
Haber not only proudly served during World War II -- she later worked as a nurse at Plainview Hospital and as a school nurse in the Elwood School District.
"I love people and I didn't want them to be sick. So I became a good nurse," says Haber.
Haber comes from a family of service members - her father served in the Navy during World War I. Her brother and sister were in the Air Corps in World War II. Haber says joining the Army as a nurse was the natural thing to do.
Hospital staff members, fellow vets and friends came by the carload as a way of saluting her for standing up for her country during on of history's most momentous eras.
"She has exemplified what it means to be an American and what it means to be a devoted nurse and she's devoted to her family," says Plainview Hospital Chief Nursing Hospital Marianna Vazquez.
Haber's son, David, says he couldn't be more proud, and Irene herself is feeling grateful.
"It's beautiful. I have so many friends and all these lovely people came out to see me," she says.