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On his 101st birthday, veteran serenaded by a comrade

Peter Nazzarro (front center) sang “Happy Birthday” and “16 Candles” to 101-year-old Tony Barrasso (back center).
Peter Nazzarro (front center) sang “Happy Birthday” and “16 Candles” to 101-year-old Tony Barrasso (back center).(The Don Orione Home)

Tony Barrasso, a World War II Army veteran affectionately known as Tony the Kid, celebrated his 101st birthday Friday with a touching tribute from a fellow veteran at the Don Orione Home in East Boston.

Tony Barrasso celebrated his 101st birthday at the Don Orione Home.
Tony Barrasso celebrated his 101st birthday at the Don Orione Home.(The Don Orione Home)

Peter Nazzaro, a war veteran, sang him classics like “Happy Birthday” and “16 Candles” by The Crests at a party attended by about 75 family and friends.

“I love you so,” Nazzaro sang into a microphone.

Barrasso, who fought in General George Patton’s Army in the Battle of the Bulge, sat looking on with a gold crown party hat on his head.

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Thomas Lynch, executive director of the Don Orione Home, call the Nazzaro’s performance “one of the most touching things” he’s ever seen at the rehabilitation center.

Barrasso’s 100th birthday party was celebrated at the center last year with speeches and tributes from family, friends and public officials.

Friends this year sat around a table decorated with blue and white balloons. An American flag hung on the wall behind them.

An Elvis impersonator performed, and there was dancing, too.

Barrasso, an East Boston native who later lived in Revere, planned the menu for his birthday lunch: hot dogs and sugar-free cupcakes.

“A lot of fun was had,” Lynch said.


Andrew Stanton can be reached at andrew.stanton@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @_andrewstanton.