Local WWII veteran celebrating 101st birthday honored for his service
A World War II veteran who celebrated his 101st birthday Sunday was honored for his service to the country.
When Gerard Siccardi was born in Patterson, New Jersey in 1920, the economic boom following World War I made for a dynamic period in American history.
Siccardi's daughter, Judy Waldeyer, says because her dad is one of the most dynamic people one could ever know, he was ideally suited to meet the moment.
He defended his country in Europe during World War II and later founded a successful textile company that is still prospering today.
"He was a very influential businessman," Waldeyer says, but adds the most impressive thing about her dad is not listed on his resume. "He's just a very kind person. He's always smiling, he's always laughing."
That easy charm, combined a bright mind and love for people, makes Siccardi one of the most popular centenarians one could ever hope to meet. He could barely contain his enthusiasm while celebrating his 101s birthday. "They had to chain me down," Siccardi said through laughter.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal honored Siccardi's lifetime of service to country in honor of his birthday.
"At 101, Gerard Siccardi is a hero. He's changed history and he's saved this country," Blumenthal said.
Siccardi also made the newsreels during World War II when cameras caught him meeting Gen. George S. Patton in Europe.