Thurman Ryan — a World War II Navy veteran who served on the USS Wisconsin — was honored Thursday afternoon with a surprise party celebrating his 94th birthday. "The gang's all here!" said Ryan upon seeing a crowd of well-wishers as he entered the Cullman V.F.W.

The Morgan County native was 15 when Pearl Harbor was attacked, and a few years later, he found himself in the Navy, assigned to the USS Wisconsin.

“I remember after training we were sent to New York City. The Navy had leased Pier 92 and we boarded ship and passed by the Statue of Liberty and I thought, ‘So long old girl, don’t know if I’ll be seeing you again,’” told The Times in 2017 after he was selected to be a grand marshal in the annual Veterans Day parade in downtown Birmingham.