A 100-year-old World War II veteran died of Covid-19. Her twin brother died 100 years earlier in the flu pandemic

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Philip Kahn is the oldest veteran in Nassau County, New York, according to his family, and had feared another pandemic would occur during his lifetime, his grandson, Warren Zysman, told CNN.

“This is something he has talked about quite often,” said Zysman. “I would have conversations with him,” he said to me, “I told you that history repeats itself, 100 years is not that long.” “

Kahn and his twin brother Samuel were born on December 5, 1919. His brother died a few weeks later, said his grandson.

The 1918 flu pandemic, caused by a virus previously known as the “Spanish flu,” killed and estimated more than 50 million people worldwide and approximately 675,000 in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As of April 22, there were more than 46,000 Covid-19 deaths in the United States and about 19,000 deaths in New York State, according to the Johns Hopkins University count.

Kahn was a sergeant in the US Army Air Force during the Second World War, said Zysman, and acted as an engineer and co-pilot, supplying war planes. He received two bronze battle stars for his services during World War II, said his grandson. After the war, he worked as an electrical foreman to help build the World Trade Center, said Zysman. On Long Island, Kahn lived alone and walked one to two miles a day, said Zysman.

He was very aware of what was going on with the coronavirus since he was constantly watching the news, and in the last days before his death on April 17, Kahn experienced a cough and respiratory symptoms of the virus, said his grandson. son.

Kahn knew he could have contracted the coronavirus.

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“He has talked a lot about his brother in recent days,” said Zysman. The 100-year-old veteran received a coronavirus test, but his family only got the results after Kahn’s death.

“He always wanted a big military burial, but we couldn’t provide it,” said Zysman.

The cemetery organized a military ceremony for two people in the armed forces, and a man whose father was a sailor during World War II played the bugle at a Kahn funeral from a distance, said Kahn’s grandson.

“He volunteered because the Air Force protected the Marines by providing them with cover and he felt it was an honor to do so for my grandfather,” said Zysman.

Sampson Lester Friedman, Khan’s friend who served with him in the Air Force during World War II, attended the funeral and paid tribute to Kahn, whom Zysman videotaped and provided to CNN.

” [There was] something about it that was very very special, “said Friedman at the funeral. On our plane, he was an engineer, and he was the hardest working guy on that plane. “

In the century after his brother’s death, Kahn kept his brother’s memory alive.

“About every holiday, every event, he also raised his brother Samuel,” said Zysman. “It clearly made a hole in his heart that he was never able to meet his twin and that his twin died a few weeks after birth. “

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