WASHINGTON, May 29 (UPI) -- Comedian Bob Hope was honored by the White House Thursday on his 100th birthday with establishment of a namesake annual award for those who have demonstrated extraordinary love of country and devotion to the personnel of the United States armed forces.
The Bob Hope Patriotism Award was created by an executive order from President George W. Bush and would be granted at a president's discretion.
In his order, Bush said the award aimed to encourage love of country, service to the people of the United States and support for the U.S. military services.
It was also in recognition of the "unique and lifelong service of Bob Hope to the United States Armed Forces and to the Nation during his unwavering patriotism and dedication to maintaining the morale of the troops."
"He is all smiles now," after Thursday's renaming of Hollywood & Vine as "Bob Hope Square," longtime Hope spokesman Ward Grant told United Press International. "I can hardly wait to give him the news."
Grant also said Hope's 100th birthday celebration was a grand event.
"I have to thank the media so much for allowing the people -- friends, fans, interested bystanders -- to get a chance to express their inspiration, admiration towards Bob Hope. We basically just stood out of the way and let it happen throughout the world. It has been a great celebration."
Hope, born in England but raised in Cleveland, made it a personal crusade to entertain U.S. forces at home and overseas in war zones in virtually every conflict the United States was engaged in, beginning with World War II.
Declining health caused him to abandon the practice following the 1990-1991 Gulf War.
The White House said both individuals and organizations were eligible.
(Pat Nason, UPI Hollywood Reporter, contributed to this report)