WWII veteran, bartender at Pearl River hotel continues to leave mark on historic town

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World War II veteran Richard Whalen has been working at the Pearl River Hotel since 1972, and he has no plans of retiring any time soon.

The 92-year-old, known as Dick, says before manning the bar at the hotel, he manned the helms of ships.

"I still remember the Morse Code," Whalen said.

Whalen's military service began at 17, joining he Navy in 1944. Aboard the USS LST-806, Whalen drove Higgins ships, dropping troops off to the shores of Normandy during World War II.

Like the landmark hotel, Whalen's longtime service behind the bar has left a mark on the historic town.

Patrons told News 12 that they know Whalen as "the man everyone knows in Pearl River."

"It's an inspiration to see someone that served in World War II," said Fil Schloss, of Pearl River.

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