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Birthday brigade marks Cape man’s 103rd

By Staff | Apr 16, 2020

Cape Coral first responders stepped up in a big way on Thursday, ensuring a World War II veteran and Cape Coral resident had the birthday celebration he deserved.

James Fucci turned an incredible 103 years old and was greeted at his front door by Cape Coral Police Department and Fire Department personnel lining the streets in their trucks and vehicles, lights flashing, while he and his family watched from the sidewalk.

COVID-19 has put a damper on gatherings of people and celebrations, especially birthday parties, but Cape Coral’s first responders made sure to recognize Fucci on his amazing milestone.

“It was great, all of the department vehicles came across so beautifully,” Fucci said.

Fucci, who served as a sergeant in the war, was all smiles as each vehicle drove past, wishing him a happy birthday.

“It was pretty amazing to be a part of James Fucci’s 103rd birthday,” said CCPD spokesperson, Sgt. Patrick O’Grady. “There was an amazing amount of community support and love for Mr. Fucci. It was awesome to see.”

Local residents in the area, who could, also joined the birthday brigade to drive past Fucci’s house and send their regards.

“I was just amazed,” Fucci said. “Usually my street is pretty quiet, maybe you’ll see a car or two, but today, they were coming 10 at a time. And I’ll tell you, it worked beautifully.”

The day really made an impact on CCPD personnel involved.

“Being able to be a part of this amazing World War II veteran’s 103rd birthday was amazing,” said CCPD spokesperson, Lt. Allan Kolak. “But to see the joy in his face as we were driving was inspirational to us all, especially during this unprecedented time.”

Fucci’s family was by his side to take in the warm wishes from all involved, including his son-in-law, Theodore Monacelli.

“It has us a little broken up,” Monacelli said of the surprise. “It was great to still be able to celebrate for him. I thank God we could do that.”

The celebration was something CCPD and CCFD were happy to do, to bring some light into the community, especially now.

“I and the rest of the Cape Coral Police Department officers who were able to be here today felt honored to be able to wish Mr. Fucci a happy 103rd birthday and to thank him for his service to our country,” said CCPD spokesperson, Cpl. Philip Mullen.

After 103 years on this earth, it’s safe to say this birthday may be one Fucci never forgets.

-Connect with this reporter on Twitter: @haddad_cj