Kinston honors 99-year-old citizen with proclamation

KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) – A proclamation for one of Kinston’s most impactful residents brought a community together on Thursday.

99-year-old Isaac Pope was granted a day in his name. July 20, 2017 will from here on out be known in the city of Kinston as “Isaac Pope Day.”

Pope is a veteran of World War II and a staple in Kinston.

Pope was overwhelmed by the support he received and said, “This has been a great day, a great day for me.”

At 99 years old Isaac Pope has a perspective few in the world have.

“It’s something that I never thought I would be a part of,” Pope said. “I always attended a lot of them, a whole bunch of them, but being in it like this. I never even dreamed the day would come.”

When you speak to Pope you quickly learn about his deep rooted history in Kinston.

He’s one of 12 children and his grandparents were slaves.

“I get to talking about that a little bitterness comes in me you know, excuse me, but I came up in the ugly days,” Pope said. “I call them the ugly and I ain’t ashamed of it because I believe anyone could back be up that had brethren that were living at that time.”

Pope has undoubtedly made an impact on Kinston.

Mayor BJ Murphy presented Pope with the proclamation. Murphy said, “What inspires me about him is the number of barriers he broke through. From the first African American unit in World War II, to actually being one of the first volunteers to be a big brother here in his home town.”

Pope’s story is so impactful, there’s now a documentary being made about his life.

Paula Caplan is producing the documentary.

“When I met him soon after my father died and he was so much like my father and they had this history together and this mutual respect and admiration,” Caplan said.

Paula Caplan’s father served with Pope back in World War II.

“He’s very much like my father,” Caplan said. “My father was as unassuming as he is my father did a lot of good things for people nobody ever knew about.”

When wrapping up our talk, I couldn’t go without asking for the secret to 99 years of life.

“That’s a good one, that’s a good one. I can’t answer that one.” said Pope. “I feel like I’m living out of my time a little bit, but I’m going to stick around as long as I can.”

If you would like to donate to the making of Mr. Pope’s documentary click HERE.

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