Harry Kelly turned 104-years-old on Thursday and partied with loved ones and several crew members of the D.C. Fire and EMS department, Fox 5 reported Friday.
Kelly is enjoying his status as the most senior retired firefighter who began his career at Engine 4, which was D.C.’s first all-black firehouse. He served his community diligently from 1948 until 1971.
In a social media post Thursday, D.C. Fire and EMS shared video footage of the big celebration, calling Kelly “a true legend.”
Kelly was spotted resting in a chair behind a “Happy Birthday” sign as others stood nearby holding balloons that helped mark the occasion:
When asked how it felt to be 104, he said, “It feels good. I feel good.”
Officials were seen approaching the retired public servant and giving him balloons. One man said, “Happy birthday, sir. It’s an honor and a pleasure.”
“It’s an honor to meet him and he is a legend, really, in the city,” stated D.C. Fire and EMS Chief John A. Donnelly Sr.
During the festivities, Kelly hopped back into the driver’s seat of a firetruck but made it clear he did not need any help doing so.
“We’ve got a great neighbor, he’s incredible. Every time I attempt to help him with the trash or the snow, Mr. Kelly shoos me away and insists on doing it himself,” neighbor Don Lucas commented. “As a matter of fact, he would rather do the snow. I can’t even get my 15 year-old-son to do the snow, but Mr. Kelly does his own snow.”
Along with serving his local community, Kelly is also a WWII veteran whose son is a retired firefighter.
“I know I’ll never forget this birthday, and neither will he. This is fantastic,” his wife, Bernice Kelly, noted.
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