110-Year-Old Veteran, Emma “Big Mama” Didlake, Died

emma didlakeThe nation’s oldest known living veteran, Emma Didlake, affectionately known as “Big Mama”, died Sunday at the age of 110. Only just a few short weeks after meeting President Obama during a trip to Washington, D.C–one of her many wishes fulfilled in her old age.

“It was a month ago today that we went to the White House, a month ago today,” Didlake’s granddaughter Marilyn Horne told the San Antonio Express News. “I think she felt she had accomplished everything and could take her rest.”

In July 2015, President Obama hosted Didlake, a veteran of World War II, in the Oval Office during her honor flight trip to Washington, D.C. Pictures of the meeting quickly went viral.

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“Emma Didlake served her country with distinction and honor, a true trailblazer for generations of Americans who have sacrificed so much for their country,” President Obama said about Didlakes passing. “I was humbled and grateful to welcome Emma to the White House last month, and Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to Emma’s family, friends, and everyone she inspired over her long and quintessentially American life.”

But serving her country didn’t stop when the war ended. Didlake went on the front lines to help fight for the rights of her people. After the war, she joined the NAACP and later marched alongside Martin Luther King Jr. in Detroit.

Didlake was one of 15 children, and was born in the small town of…

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