WWII hero Raymond Firmani celebrates 100th birthday, shares life lesson

Raymond says you have to have a purpose in life.

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Monday, September 20, 2021
Local WWII hero turns 100 years old
Raymond Firmani says a secret to life is to be upbeat.

ELSMERE, Delaware (WPVI) -- We want to wish a very special 100th birthday to a local hero.

Raymond Firmani of Elsmere, Delaware, was a B-17 pilot in the 486th Heavy Bombardment Group in World War II, part of the mighty 8th Air Force.

Firmani completed his tour of 25 missions over Germany, eventually winning the Distinguished Flying Cross for his heroism.

He says he learned a lot of life lessons over the course of a century, but one piece of advice sticks out.

"I think that's the secret of longevity - friends," Firmani said. "When you get to my age, you lose all your early friends and now with new friends, I have a purpose for living. You have to have a purpose."

Firmani says another secret to life is to be upbeat.

He says many people spend too much time worrying about things that they shouldn't be worried about.

The birthday celebration was held Sunday at the Delaware Military Museum.