By Tom Ford
This past Friday afternoon , the City of Somerville Veterans’ Services Department invited members of the public to join a drive-by birthday celebration to honor World War II veteran and 75-year Somerville resident Marvin H. Spitzer on his 100th birthday.
Members of the U.S. Coast Guard, the Somerville Police Department, and the Somerville Fire Department lead a procession of friends, family, and other well-wishers past Mr. Spitzer’s residence in East Somerville. After the parade, in a private, socially distanced ceremony, Ted Louis-Jacques, director of Veterans’ Services, presented Mr. Spitzer with citations from the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, Governor Baker’s Office, the Massachusetts House of Representatives, the Massachusetts Senate, Mayor’s Office, and the Somerville City Council.
Born and raised in Virginia, Mr. Spitzer spent four years in the U.S. Coast Guard, serving as a chef on the USS Murzim during World War II. He put down roots in Somerville in 1946 and worked as a master electrician in the Charlestown Navy Yard. Today, Mr. Spitzer is known as a proud great-grandfather, a gifted singer, and a generous neighbor who has prepared hundreds of Thanksgiving turkeys and birthday cakes for community meals over the years. The drive-by parade will be an opportunity to safely celebrate Mr. Spitzer’s milestone birthday and thank him for his lifelong commitment to service.
“This is an incredible milestone for Mr. Spitzer,” said Louis-Jacques. “Even the most challenging times cannot diminish our gratitude to his service and his family’s sacrifice. Our hearts will unite as we honor him. He paved the way forward for a new generation of soldiers to serve, and for that I will always be thankful.”
Candidate for mayor William “Billy” Tauro and staff attended the procession and was welcomed by Somerville Police and Fire Department personnel thanking him for his participation.