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Photo of WWII veteran in Hawaii casting his vote captures hearts

By Audrey McAvoy

Associated Press

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 07:39 p.m. HST, Oct 22, 2012

Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL


 A photograph of a 93-year-old World War II veteran casting what will likely be his last ballot has captured the hearts of tens of thousands of Internet users.

The photo shows Frank Tanabe lying in a hospital bed at home in Honolulu as his daughter Barbara Tanabe helps him fill out his absentee ballot. 

A half-million people saw the picture on the website Reddit after his grandson posted it there on Thursday. This made it one of the most popular items on the social media network for a day after.

The top rated comment on the post said “True Patriotism.”

Doctors diagnosed Tanabe with an inoperable cancer tumor in his liver two months ago. He’s been in hospice care for the past three weeks at his daughter’s home.

He’s been determined to vote regardless, eagerly asking when the ballot would be arriving in the mail, his daughter said. She kept telling him, “don’t worry, it’s coming.” He filled it out immediately when it landed in the mailbox on Wednesday.

Barbara Tanabe read aloud the names of the candidates to her dad. He either nodded “yes” to the names or shook his head “no.” She filled in the boxes on his behalf, following his instructions even when he didn’t pick the people she wanted.

“There were some that were OK, but there were others where I said, ‘Dad, are you sure?”’ she said.

But he knew what he was doing. He’s kept up on the issues, reading newspapers regularly until only recently, she said.







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allie wrote:
great man and a solid message...vote!
on October 22,2012 | 07:41AM
Bigdog_MD wrote:
For years, I did not vote, mainly because of the candidates and their stances or lack thereof. Then I saw the movie "Saving Private Ryan". After seeing this tiny glimpse of what our veterans endured for our rights and my right to vote, I started voting. Thank you to all our men and women in uniform. And to all the anonymous gents like Mr. Tanabe out there, thank you for our freedom.
on October 22,2012 | 09:58AM
lowtone123 wrote:
When you see Frank you realize there is no excuse not to vote. GO VOTE!
on October 22,2012 | 08:02AM
all_fed_up wrote:
THIS is a great American!
on October 22,2012 | 08:28AM
desertdweller wrote:
THANK YOU Mr. Tanabe!!! You are a TRUE patriot!!! It is because of you and your service to this country that we, as citizens, continue to have the right to vote. And because of what you and many others like you have done I do not take my right to vote for granted. You, sir, are a true inspiration!!! Once again...Thank you!!!
on October 22,2012 | 08:37AM
twitter6 wrote:
Vote people. The turn out is less than 50% of the voting population. Very sad
on October 22,2012 | 09:00AM
caregiver808 wrote:
THE GREATEST GENERATION
on October 22,2012 | 09:26AM
clydek wrote:
This brave WWII soldier fought for our right to vote. Let us all follow his fine example and cast our absentee ballot now or at the polls on Nov 6, 2012. This is democracy in action. Yes, he is indeed a member of The Greatest Generation! As a Vietnam Army vet, I salute you Mr. Tanabe!
on October 22,2012 | 10:21AM
HOPHAT wrote:
Standing ovation to Mr. Tanabe. Thank you for your service.
on October 22,2012 | 11:06AM
cojef wrote:
Great human interest story. Am getting close to Mr. Tanabe's age and hope I still will have his mental prowess.
on October 22,2012 | 11:39AM
environmental_lady wrote:
Good that he got his absentee ballot on time and that he can vote while he's still alive. In the population census if one dies right before April 1st, he's regarded as dead, but if he dies after April 1st, he's regarded as alive even if he died before the enumerator showed up. Luckily there is not cutoff date for voting as long as the person is alive before filling out an absentee ballot. As for voting, I thank the Suffragates who sacrificed so much so that women could vote. Men have died in wars long before World War II, but that did not enable women to vote. So I vote with gratitude here.
on October 22,2012 | 11:58AM
kennie1933 wrote:
Awesome, Mr. Tanabe! It doesn't matter WHO you voted for; you now have your say! I'm always hoping that those who comment on this site also votes because my mantra is (regarding political issues): "If you don't vote, you lose your right to complain!"
on October 22,2012 | 01:00PM
808Cindy wrote:
Our Thanks to Frank Tanabe and his family for sharing with with the public this act and great privilage to vote! May God bless you and your family in remembering the good and happy times.
on October 22,2012 | 01:42PM
makaainana23 wrote:
This took place in Hawaii. Fine piece of journalism by AP's Audrey McAvoy. It's pathetic that the Honolulu Star-Advertiser couldn't see fit to post the entire story and buried it below something about a dead baby in Maine. This is just another indication how sadly out of touch the paper is from the community it purpots to serve. "Pulse of Paradise" my eye.
on October 22,2012 | 02:09PM
makaainana23 wrote:
...The full story is available on many websites, including: http://news.yahoo.com/photo-second-world-war-veteran-casting-ballot-captures-082154483.html http://www.salon.com/writer/audrey_mcavoy/ http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/photo-wwii-veteran-casting-vote-captures-hearts-17531895 http://www.newsday.com/business/photo-of-wwii-veteran-casting-vote-captures-hearts-1.4139073
on October 22,2012 | 02:30PM
M75 wrote:
THIS IS A TRUE WWII VETERAN AND THIS SHOUID BE A TRUE MESSAGE TO ALL THE PEOPLE OF HAWAII AND THAT IS TO TRY AND GET OUT AND VOTE!!!!!!! NO MATTER WHO YOU WANT IN THIS ELECTION JUST GO OUT AND LET YOUR VOICE BE HERD.
on October 22,2012 | 09:53PM
M75 wrote:
THANK YOU MR TANABE!!!!!!!!
on October 22,2012 | 09:56PM
rgeiger27 wrote:
a loss of another of our "Greatest Generation" members. If AMERICA continues on our present path, it will not make any difference that the men like this accomplished.
on October 30,2012 | 03:23AM
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