Disney Honors 100-Year-Old WWII Veteran with a special flag retreat at the Magic Kingdom

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Disney Honors 100-Year-Old WWII Veteran with a special flag retreat at the Magic Kingdom

Every day at 5 pm a flag retreat is held in the Magic Kingdom. Guests watch as the American flag is lowered, while the “Star Spangled Banner” plays. The ceremony is a tribute—a thank you to veterans for their service, sacrifice and dedication to protecting our country. Last Friday, Disney honored a World War II Veteran celebrating his 100th birthday with a special flag retreat.

Related – U.S. Military Members can Enjoy Specially Priced Theme Park Tickets in 2022

William McCroskey served our nation as a Merchant Marine, playing an integral role during the historic D-Day operation in Normandy in 1944 transporting replacement troops onto the beach. He went on to transport personnel and supplies all over the world during the war and visited just about every seaport there is, including ports in Africa and Asia. He served proudly until the end of the war, returning to his wife to start a family.

Related – Disney SALUTE teams up with Blue Star Families to host the 20th Blue Star Books event

Accompanied by his son, Ron and the rest of his family, William received the flag hoisted down by the Magic Kingdom’s security team and was honored with a parade down Main Street U.S.A. as guests applauded loudly in recognition of his service.

“We are so grateful to Disney for honoring my father in this way,” said Ron McCroskey, William’s son. “We have created so many memories here at the park with our family, adding this one is a particularly special one that we will all cherish forever.”

Disney Honors 100-Year-Old WWII Veteran with a special flag retreat at the Magic Kingdom

Disney cast member and WWII U.S. Navy Veteran Alex Stromski was also in attendance wearing his Navy Dress Whites uniform to celebrate and honor William. During the ceremony, Alex, along with members of the Disney SALUTE Veteran affinity group, presented William with a shadowbox containing a flag that was flown over Magic Kingdom Park in his honor.

Disney Honors 100-Year-Old WWII Veteran with a special flag retreat at the Magic Kingdom

“I really enjoy having the chance to honor a fellow WWII veteran and make William’s birthday a really special one alongside his family,” said Alex, who was honored with his very own flag retreat ceremony last year.

Ron, a U.S. Army Veteran, shared it was special being able to celebrate his father’s milestone birthday in the park where his father brought him and his family when they were growing up.

Disney Honors 100-Year-Old WWII Veteran with a special flag retreat at the Magic Kingdom

“It was so incredible what Disney did to make this day special for my father,” said Ron. “Seeing all guests cheer, clap and stand up for my father as he went down Main Street during the Flag Retreat was incredible. It really was magical that people would do that for someone they don’t know just to honor him.”

Coming up on Disney’s 100 years, The Walt Disney Company continues its long-standing tradition and legacy of supporting and celebrating our military and those who have served our nation with the daily flag retreat. Walt and his brother Roy held a very special place in their hearts for our military and their families and we continue celebrating their contributions today.

Magic Kingdom Park selects an active-duty military member or Veteran for the flag retreat honor from among that park’s daily visitors.

Please join us in wishing William a very happy and special 100 birthday and a sincere thank you for all his bravery and commitment to our nation.


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Sara is a travel agent with Destinations to Travel, a Disney Earmarked agency. She lives in Alaska with her husband and 3 kids. Due to her extreme dislike of winter, she travels often to warmer destinations during the colder months. She visits the Disney parks and resorts frequently with her family and loves helping other families plan magical vacations. Contact her here for help with your vacation!
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