WWII veteran celebrates 100th birthday by seeing family for first time since COVID-19

A Manhattan man celebrated his 100th birthday Friday — by seeing his family for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic struck the Big Apple.

World War II veteran Harold Schachner, who played double bass for the New York City Ballet once upon a time, never had the virus but was prohibited from seeing his relatives because of visitors’ restrictions on nursing homes, which have since been rescinded.

“This is the longest, Dad, I haven’t seen you in my life,” Schachner’s daughter, Susan Schultz, told her father as they shared their first embrace in about six months on the lawn of the New Jewish Home nursing facility on the Upper West Side.

“I’ve missed him a great deal. It’s amazing,” she later told The Post.

Schachner celebrated the big 100 with an on-site guitarist, cupcakes and a chocolate cake, which is his favorite, alongside his daughter, son-in-law, grandson and other relatives.

Schultz brought along some gifts for the celebration, including chocolate bars, New Yorker magazines and cards from family members.

Schachner was elated to finally see his family after such a long time apart and was just as happy to become a centenarian.

“I’m very happy to have reached that age and still be here,” Schachner, decked out in a gold hat, told The Post.


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