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Photo Of Dying WWII Vet Casting Last Ballot Goes Viral

Submitted by on October 23, 2012 – 5:21 pmNo Comment

The above photo of Frank Tanabe casting what will likely be his last election ballot went viral this week, garnering almost 600,000 views online. The picture showing Tanabe’s daughter helping him fill out a ballot, in addition to Tanabe’s life story of patriotism in the face of many obstacles, has become an inspiration to voters across the country.

Tanabe is 93 years old, and has inoperable liver cancer. During WWII, he was sent to an internment camp with thousands of other Japanese-Americans. And according to his grandson Noah, the family business was “torched.” Noah Tanabe then volunteered for military service.

That’s right- after everything the country had done to him, Tanabe wanted to serve it. His unit was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal last year; Tanabe said he accepted “on behalf of all hyphenated Americans, including American-Americans.” This sense of responsibility seems to have carried through his entire life: Noah Tanabe, who originally posted the photo to Reddit, wrote that his grandfather ”is proud of having voted in every single presidential election since he was awarded his citizenship in order to serve during WWII.”

Some have been concerned that legally, Tanabe’s vote should not count if he dies before election day. But the logistics suggest that even if Tanabe does pass, it would be too difficult to stop his ballot, especially with so much attention on the matter.

What do you think of Frank Tanabe?

[via AP/Yahoo News]

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