Not many people are lucky enough to experience nine decades of living. But in Sunny Isles Beach we have more nonagenarians than most communities. One special man was recently honored for his military service to our country.
Longtime resident, James Federici, was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation and a Distinguished Citizens Service Medal by PFC Bruce W. Carter from Detachment 052, of the Miami Marine Corps League. Vice Commandant George Tabor, Jr. of Detachment 052 was also present. Retired Miami-Dade Fire Fighters, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren joyfully attended the ceremony held at James’ home on Sept. 6, 2014.
James served in World War II, from 1943 through November 1945, as a Navy Machinist Mate on two ships, the USS Greiner DE-37 (Destroyer Escort) and the USS Murrelet AM- 372 (Minesweeper) in the Pacific. After the war he resided in New Jersey for several years. A vacation to Florida prompted a move here with his wife of one year in 1953.
James began working briefly in the food industry for a company many will remember, Food Fair. He switched careers, pursuing a job with the City of North Miami Beach in 1957 for the water department, and after only six months, his dream job opened up with the North Miami Beach Fire Department (then separate from the county). He drove the ladder truck at Station 31 in North Miami Beach for years. On April 1, 1978 Station 31fire operations were transferred to Miami-Dade County. He continued to work as a fireman with the County until his retirement in 1987.
James became a resident of Sunny Isles Beach after he retired in 1988. He has been an active member of our community and visits the Sunny Isles Beach government offices to touch base with his many friends. He is ready to give an opinion when necessary, and has contributed thoughtful solutions to problems. SIB Police Chief Fred Maas says, “He has continued the tradition of community service in the spirit of the award he received by being an active member in his community and working to enhance the quality of life.”
James is one of the veterans honored in the past on the Sunny Isles Beach Veterans Wall at Heritage Park (19200 Collins Avenue). Veterans Day, a federal holiday observed each year on November 11th, is a day to acknowledge all men and women across our country who have served the United States of America through their military service. On this November 11th, we hope he can join us again at 9:30 am as we honor a new group of Sunny Isles Beach residents who will be added to the wall in recognition of their US Military service.