coronavirus parades

‘Just Incredible': Boston WWII Veteran Turns 100 With Surprise Birthday Parade

Although his original party was canceled due to COVID-19, the family of World War II Veteran Joseph Abdelahad did not let the milestone pass without a big celebration

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Joseph Abdelahad sat outside on his porch Saturday like any other sunny afternoon.

But his home was decorated with a "Happy 100th Birthday" banner and balloons. And he had no idea his family, friends, fire trucks and police cars would soon drive by his home in Boston's Roslindale neighborhood that day to celebrate his centennial.

"He doesn't love attention, but I think 100 is pretty big, so he's going to get it whether he likes it or not," joked Abdelahad's grandson, Ben Abbene.

He first saw the news station cameras, then heard sirens. Fire trucks led the parade, followed by about 30 decked-out cars carrying family members and friends waving from windows and sunroofs.

Abdelahad smiled and waved at the familiar faces passing by.

"I can't believe that my dad is 100 years old, because he doesn't act it, he don't look it, it's just incredible," said his daughter, Lorraine Abbene.

She said he has a sharp memory and a very active social life. Before the pandemic hit, he would frequent casinos and play cards with his friends.

Abdelahad joined the United States Army Air Force in the early 1940s, working as a B-17 bomber mechanic in Italy during World War II, his kids said. After the war, he married his wife, Rose, on Feb. 24, 1952; they celebrated 55 years together before she died in 2007 from Alzheimer's. Together they had 3 daughters, 7 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren.

While Abdelahad did not want to be interviewed, when asked what it feels like to live to be 100, he said, "It's an honor. I'm gifted, God took good care of me."

Watch the video above to see how the family celebrated over the weekend.

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