(CNN) - A photo of World War II veteran Frank Tanabe casting what will likely be his final ballot in a presidential election has gone viral –and captured the hearts of thousands.
Tanabe, 93, is in the final stages of inoperable liver cancer and is currently at home receiving hospice care, surrounded by his wife and children in Honolulu.
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He has always been a true patriot, his daughters said. In 2010 he was among a group of Japanese-Americans who were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal as part of the Military Intelligence Service Unit during World War II.
Originally from the Seattle area, Tanabe enrolled at the University of Washington during World War II but was forced to drop out when he and the rest of his family were placed in internment camps for the Japanese in the U.S. From there, Tanabe volunteered for the U.S. Army, knowing that Japanese-English translators were in need. His family members remained in the camp while he served.
According to his daughters, Frank has never missed a presidential election, and wasn't about to let his illness deter him from voting this time around.
When his absentee ballot arrived on Wednesday, his daughter, Barbara, sat at his bedside and read aloud the candidates and issues.
"I helped him. He either nodded 'yes' or shook his head 'no'," Barbara said. "He didn't always vote for my candidate."
Nonetheless, she followed his directions and mailed in the completed form. He hasn't been able to speak since.
Irene, Frank's other daughter, knew that she was witnessing a rare moment and snapped a picture of the event. She first posted it on Facebook, then her 26-year-old son, Noah, lifted it and posted it on the link sharing site Reddit. From there, it went viral. Irene said news organizations in the U.S. and other countries have picked up interest in the photo and their story.
Barbara said that she has been telling her dad about all of the internet "buzz" and is sure he is "thrilled about it"
"He is very patriotic, very proud," she said, adding that her father instilled a similar sense of appreciation to his children.
"He always told us it was very important to vote, because he saw his comrades in arms fight and die for American rights," she said.
Among those, she added, was the right to vote.
A fine example of civic duty and great character that a whole lot more folks should be emulating. Thank you for an exemplary American.
"A fine example of civic duty and great character that a whole lot more folks should be emulating. Thank you for an exemplary American." Hear, hear.
An example of the simplicity of freedom and democracy this country and why this country is seen as an outlook of hope for other nations. Regards and respect to a patriot and citizen of this great nation.
What a great American.
It was a pleasure to read this article. Speed well sir.
voting do matter to our past & present generation.
I agree with the President....
Need I say more?
Mr. Tanabe, you are an inspiration.
If you haven't decided by now who you'll vote for, flip a friggin' coin! Geeze.....
Rmoney: I've got that right.
Call me a cynic but the guys eyes are closed and it looks like they have the ballot propped up in his hands. Also, they claim he couldn't speak afterwards which I find to be further damning. If they did make his choices for him when he's dying I find it sick!. Its obvious they did it for publicity or they wouldn't have made such a public statement about it. I also find it unfair that someone chooses our fate when they aren't going to be around to suffer the consequence of their choice.
There he goes again... Flipity Flop.
Mitt wrote love letters to Ann from a beach in France during Viet Nam.
Kinda different, isn't he? I'm not a catholic, and I'm not a mormon.
I voted for the CHRISTIAN, OBAMA 2012.
Good for him!
Who did he vote for?
Come to Chicago sir. You're right to vote Democratic will never be taken away even after death!
One more vote for Obama 2012
Great story and to think some americans throw away their vote for the promise of a cell phone..so very sad.
Mr Tanabe more than earned his right to vote.
But his vote is at risk of being made meaningless by fraudulent votes cast by illegal aliens and disenfranchised felons.
Votes cast because of Democrats' opposition to Voter ID laws that protect Mr Tanabe's right to vote and ensure that his vote isn't cancelled by a dozen from bogus ACORN-registered phony voters.
Im so glad this man was able to vote for Gov. Romney, shows even he understood that change needs to happen.....
From part of a speech I was require to give: “and the people of a grateful nation”. My final salute to you from one soldier to another, we are home and “This well defend”
Great story, but if he dies before Nov 6th, his vote should not count.
This is a great guy!
Folks, keep the political crap off this blog. The story is about Mr. Tanabe's patriotism and exercising his right to vote. He and his family kept their vote selections private... the best way to honor this man is to vote and keep your selections private.
Thank you for your service and, instilling patriotism on your children and on your fellow countrymen.
U.S. Army Vet